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Indiana agency struggling with unemployment appeals backlog

unemployment
Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 16:58:24-04

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s unemployment benefits system has continued to struggle with resolving appeals of payment denials, leaving the state with among the country’s worst appeals backlogs.

The backlog exploded last year as the Indiana Department of Workforce Development didn’t keep up with appeals filed by residents who claimed job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic recession, resulting in thousands of people waiting months for unemployment benefit payments.

The agency started August with more than 17,000 pending appeals after peaking with nearly 22,000 such appeals in January.

Only California, Texas and Virginia had more unsettled cases.

Indiana Legal Services attorney Kristin Hoffman says the workforce development agency was unprepared to handle the massive jump in claims.