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Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

DWD Awaiting More Guidance To Roll Out Unemployment Benefit Changes

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor

Over the holidays, the federal government signed a law that would increase unemployment benefits to out-of-work Hoosiers. But Indiana has not yet announced when it will begin sending out an additional $300 in unemployment benefits.

The so-called Continued Assistance Act would restart additional Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits at a lower rate – it was originally $600 – and extends the length of time an unemployed worker can be eligible for benefits.

It also gives states a new ability to waive overpayments in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for self-employed workers, but requires those workers to provide more documentation to be eligible.

The act also creates a new program called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). It provides states with the option to award an extra $100 in benefits to workers who had a self-employed “side hustle” in addition to traditional employment. 

READ MORE: How Will Indiana Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

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The Department of Workforce Development said it received some guidance from the federal Department of Labor. It will participate in informational webinar sessions this week to learn more about how to meet new requirements and get the additional benefits to Hoosiers soon. Indiana has signed an agreement with the federal government indicating it intends to implement an MEUC program for Hoosiers, however it is unclear when it would begin.

The most recent claims report shows about 500,000 Hoosiers are still filing new or continued claims for unemployment benefits each week. 

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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