Indiana finally opens unemployment pandemic program, three weeks before such programs will end

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INDIANAPOLIS — Three weeks before Indiana will stop providing federal unemployment pandemic assistance, the state finally rolled out a program Hoosiers became eligible for in January.

Brenda Godfrey started calling the state about MEUC, or Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, back in February after hearing Indiana had opted into the federal program. For months, Godfrey said she couldn’t get much help at all from Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development.

“I’ve lost count of how many phone calls I’ve made over there and actually had to explain to the person who answered the phone what MEUC was,” Godfrey said.

MEUC applies to certain self-employed Hoosiers who earned more than $5,000 in 2019 and are not already receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA. The benefit adds an extra $100 to weekly benefits, retroactive back to January 2.

Emails sent by Godfrey this week to DWD also turned up conflicting information, some of which turned out to be incorrect.

CBS4 confirmed with DWD that Godfrey had been given inaccurate information. Spokesperson Scott Olson said the issue had been addressed with call center staff and confirmed the MEUC program would officially roll out Friday, sending the following statement:

“MEUC was a complex program to implement. DWD implemented it as soon as it was possible, given other federal pandemic program changes required by the U.S. Dept. of Labor.”

Scott Olson, DWD Spokesperson

Godfrey was able to apply for the program Friday. She’ll need to submit paperwork to DWD for approval. All federal pandemic unemployment benefits will end in Indiana on June 19.

“I’m hoping that it’s a quick approval process and they very quickly send out payments,” Godfrey said.

To learn more about whether you qualify for MEUC and how to apply, go to the DWD Frequently Asked Questions for Claimant page at the link here.

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