Roughly 75,000 Hoosiers were among the more than 4.4 million Americans who filled out an application for unemployment benefits last week. It represents a big decrease as initial claims have steadily fallen over the last three weeks.
About 17 percent of the state’s entire labor force has now filed for unemployment since the governor’s first executive order limiting social interaction. In March alone, the Department of Workforce Development says it’s made over 1 million separate payments to about 350,000 Hoosiers.
However, DWD Commissioner Fred Payne says the agency is still struggling to answer a surge in phone calls from people asking questions about their applications.
“We continue to have extreme call volumes and we’re constantly making adjustments and improvements on a day-to-day and a week-to-week basis,” he says.
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Payne says the DWD will start taking pandemic unemployment assistance applications for self-employed workers and people with limited work history starting Friday. The target date to begin making payments to those approve for PUA benefits has been changed from May 4 to May 8.
To install updates, the Uplink unemployment online system will be closed temporarily starting at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.