The following sections outline the eligibility for unemployment requirements that petitioners must meet in order to enroll in the program. In addition, subsequent portions of this article will explain how to apply for unemployment online, what documents petitioners must submit along with their applications and how to prepare for the UC interview.
What is unemployment in Indiana?
Unemployment in Indiana is available to local workers who recently lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The state allows eligible enrollees to receive UC benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. Furthermore, the maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA) candidates may receive is $390. However, IN unemployment insurance requires workers to serve a preliminary waiting week before they are eligible to begin receiving benefits.
In general, an unemployment claim can provide petitioners with temporary financial assistance while they are in between jobs. However, candidates must remember that this is a short-term program. The DWD does not intend for UI benefits to provide recipients with long-term support. Furthermore, enrollees must make sure they are actively searching for new employment opportunities while they are receiving UC benefits.
What are the requirements to get unemployment in Indiana?
The DWD determines eligibility for unemployment in Indiana by examining three key factors in the petitioners’ applications. These points are as follows:
- Financial eligibility Petitioners must have earned enough wages during the 18 months prior to submitting their applications in order to qualify for UC.
- Unemployment reasons – Applicants must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
- Availability – Petitioners are able, ready and willing to accept full-time work at all times.
Regarding financial qualifications for unemployment insurance eligibility, the DWD examines how much money applicants made during their base periods. The base period refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Once the DWD establishes applicants’ base periods, the department looks at the following:
- During the total base period, claimants must have earned at least $4,200.
- During the last six months of the base period, petitioners must have earned at least $2,500 of their total income sum.
- Applicants’ total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times their highest quarter wages.
Qualifications for unemployment also relate to the reasons why petitioners are currently without work. In order to be eligible to receive UC benefits, applicants must be out of work due to situations that were out of their control. Instances that would disqualify individuals to receive UI benefits include quitting for personal reasons such as disliking a job, knowingly damaging employer property, disobeying rules or arriving to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Finally, when determining who qualifies for unemployment, the DWD will review whether or not candidates are able to accept full-time employment. Similarly, it will also examine if claimants are actively searching for suitable work opportunities. This means that, as weeks pass and enrollees remain unemployed, they may need to expand the scopes of their searches to include additional opportunities. Eligibility for UI requirements may deter petitioners from refusing suitable work offers or drug tests. Furthermore, candidates who are suspended from work for misconduct may not receive UC benefits.
How can I sign up for unemployment in Indiana?
An Indiana online application for unemployment is available to workers who would like to submit their applications virtually. However, candidates who are not comfortable learning how to apply for unemployment online may submit their applications in person. This alternative method to apply for UI requires petitioners to visit a local DWD office known as WorkOne Center.
Regardless of how candidates intend to apply for unemployment benefits, there is specific information they must provide in order to enroll. Specifically, candidates must submit:
- Contact information Applicants must provide a valid email address and create an account password. In addition, they must provide their names, dates of birth, addresses and Social Security Numbers (SSNs). If applicable, petitioners must also include their driver’s license numbers or identification card numbers in the application.
- Employment history – Petitioners are required to submit contact information for all employers they had within the past two years. This includes company names, addresses and telephone numbers. Furthermore, applicants must submit the dates when they worked for these specific employers.
- Unemployment reasons – In order to be considered for UC benefits, workers must provide reasons for why they no longer work for the employers they have had in the past two years.
- Financial information – Claimants need to provide pay stubs they received from their most recent employers. Similarly, applicants must submit any earnings they received from pension, retirement or severance pay.
In addition, petitioners who file for an unemployment claim in Indiana must include additional information if they held specific jobs. For example, applicants who fall into the following professional categories must provide their corresponding information:
- State employees who held these positions within the last two years must submit their employers’ payroll addresses.
- Union members must submit contact information for their union hiring halls, as well as the dates their dues are paid on.
- Worker’s compensation recipients need to supply information relating to the dates of their injuries.
When applicants file for unemployment, they must also elect whether they want to enroll in the state’s debit card system.
How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Indiana?
Claimants may need to participate in an Indiana unemployment phone interview if the DWD has any questions regarding their petitions. These conversations do not necessarily mean applicants will be denied benefits. However, the DWD will require a UI phone interview when it notices potential areas of concern in a claimant’s application.
In order to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, applicants must first know why the DWD requires these conversations. In general, there are two main reasons why these interviews are necessary. The first is that the petitioners submitted incomplete or unclear details on their applications. In these situations, the questions asked during unemployment interview are usually straightforward. Additionally, conversations of this nature usually end quickly.
The second reason why the DWD may need to conduct a UC phone interview is more complicated. When applicants and their employers submit conflicting information regarding the reasons why the claimants are unemployed, the DWD must to conduct interviews. In these situations, however, the DWD usually must conduct an unemployment interview with employer and an additional one with the claimant. These conversations are usually longer and more detailed. However, both parties should focus on providing accurate and complete information.
Claimants and their employers may be concerned with learning how to pass the unemployment insurance interview because they want to make sure the DWD rules in their favor. However, supervisors and applicants must remember that these interviews are part of a holistic process. The information they bring forth in these conversations will be evaluated in tandem with the rest of the applicants’ materials. In order to prepare for the UI interview, both parties should instead focus on bringing forth supporting documents that help their claims. For example, the following information would be useful:
- Written warnings that the employer or the company’s Human Resources department issued.
- An employee manual with specific sections and rules highlighted that are relevant to the candidates’ situations.
- Email exchanges between the employer and the worker. This is particularly relevant when these emails discussed work conditions or performance.
- Exit interview notes that the Human Resources department took during the applicants’ final days with the company.
How do I claim unemployment benefits in Indiana?
In order to claim unemployment benefits in Indiana, applicants must ensure they meet specific program requirements throughout their enrollment. For example, candidates may only collect funds from an unemployment benefits claim as long as they certify their benefits. This means that for each week candidates receive UC benefits, they must fill out an online voucher that requires them update their financial information. Beneficiaries are responsible for reporting:
- Any income they receive or work they complete during their enrollment periods.
- The gross income they earn throughout their UI claims.
- Any non-financial reimbursement they receive for work, such as loan repayments.
Beneficiaries who are claiming benefits for unemployment must also be sure to keep track of their work search efforts. If the DWD audits these recipients, they need to be able to produce documentation that proves how they have been actively pursuing employment leads. Enrollees must seek job opportunities with different businesses every week. In order to claim UI benefits, beneficiaries must also keep track of any work contacts they make during their searches. Furthermore, program participants must also make all reasonable efforts to talk to hiring managers when they submit applications. A state official will routinely make sure that enrollees are completing these tasks. Candidates who fail to stay up-to-date on these requirements will risk losing their UI funds for the weeks when they did not meet these requirements.
What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Indiana?
Petitioners who are denied unemployment in Indiana have the right to file an appeal to the DWD’s Appeals Division. Applicants who choose to deliver their petitions in person, as well as mail or fax them, have 10 days to do so. When requesting a denied unemployment benefits hearing, applicants are petitioning to have an administrative law judge (ALJ) review their cases and make independent decisions. In order to file an appeal, applicants must submit:
- Reasons why they wish to appeal the DWD’s decisions.
- Contact information so the Appeals Division can send them additional information regarding their request.
- A copy of the Determination of Eligibility notice they received with a decision from the DWD.
Once the state receives the unemployment denial appeal, it takes approximately one week for its staff to review the request and enter the request into the system. Employers should note they also are have the right to file an appeal. Regardless, whoever files the appeal must be available for the hearing, which is either conducted over the phone or in person. Relevant parties will receive notice regarding the times and dates for their hearings via letters from the Appeals Division. To support their cases in the denied UI appeal hearing, parties have the right to submit evidence, call witnesses and bring in legal representation.
Afterward, appeal judges will mail their UI denial appeals decision to employers and petitioners. Individuals who are dissatisfied with these decisions have 18 days to appeal.
How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Indiana?
U.S. Congress may authorize a federal unemployment extension during times when there are many unemployed workers in a state. The federal government may also choose to offer these extensions on a national scale, if necessary. Regardless, an unemployment benefits extension in Indiana is referred to as Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC). In general, these extensions are not common. However, when offered, they can extend enrollees’ UI claims for 20 weeks. In extreme situations, claims may also be extended for an additional 13 weeks beyond the 20-week extension. The DWS will notify local beneficiaries when this extension is available. To enroll in the unemployment extension, candidates must fill out the UC voucher online.
How do I contact the Indiana unemployment office?
The Indiana unemployment office is available to answer any questions applicants and employers may have. Community members may direct their inquiries to their local UI office, which maintains locations throughout the state. The Indianapolis office is located at:
10 N Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204