The showdown over the fiscal cliff could cut off unemployment benefits for 40,000 Hoosiers. The first six months of unemployment are paid by the state. After that, benefits switch to the federal jobless rolls. The duration of those benefits currently runs an additional 37 weeks.
But those federal benefits vanish if there is no deal to extend them by Saturday.
Indiana Department of Workforce Development spokesman Joe Frank says the agency sent postcards last month to Hoosiers already receiving federal benefits, and those on the brink of transitioning from state to federal, advising them of the situation.
“The last check that you would get would be the week after Dec. 29, and then after that, it stops,” he says.
Frank says it could take a couple of weeks to restart benefits if Congress acts after the expiration date, depending on how many changes are made to the rules. That could end up costing the state money, potentially in the millions of dollars, because of the time and effort required to reprogram DWD computers.