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Unemployment Loopholes Closing Today

Thousands of Hoosiers may lose their unemployment benefits under changes effective today.

Government center sign

Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

The Department of Workforce Development says people who choose not to work shouldn't receive benefits.

Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Mark Everson says the purpose of the changes made by the legislature was to close loopholes in the unemployment system.

Starting July first, the state need not pay unemployment benefits to employees during a short-term shutdown, though business owners must announce the shutdown at least six months in advance. Seasonal employees don’t fall under this category.

People who fail or refuse a drug test by a potential employer may also be refused unemployment checks. And Hoosiers who work on an on-call or as-needed basis with no set schedule – nurses being an example – and refuse weekday work will no longer be eligible.

Though Everson says thousands could be affected, he feels the changes are logical.

“I’m on sorry if someone turns down the opportunity to work in a week. I’m not sure the system owes them a check.”

Everson says closing the loopholes will help the state get its unemployment trust fund back in the black. The fund owes the federal government $2 billion, a debt it compiled over the last three years.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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