The Indiana Unemployment Benefits Program
If you’re an Indiana resident who has recently lost their job, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. The State of Indiana can help you get by until you are hired at a new job by providing weekly unemployment payments. In Indiana, workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own can qualify for unemployment benefits. This social safety net is meant to help resident workers who are facing unemployment due to a layoff or in some cases, a firing.
In Indiana (and throughout the country), unemployment benefits are meant to provide you with a temporary stream of income that helps you with daily living expenses until you are able to find a new job. These funds come from a tax that employers must pay — called unemployment taxes — that are collected by the state and paid out to workers who have lost their job. It’s important to know that only employers pay this tax, and it doesn’t come from your paycheck. For that reason, you meet certain Indiana unemployment requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) manages the state’s unemployment benefits program. The DWD also provides services such as job-seeking assistance through its WorkOne centers, which are located throughout the state.
How unemployment works in Indiana
Here’s a quick overview of how the unemployment insurance process works in Indiana.
- You must meet three benefit requirements before you apply. These requirements include: being able, available and actively searching for work; that you lost your job through no fault of your own; and that you earned enough wages during your base period to qualify for payments.
- Apply for unemployment insurance if you meet all the requirements. You must apply online at The Indiana Department of Workforce Development website. The Department of Workforce Development uses an Uplink CSS system to process your unemployment benefits application. This system will walk you through the steps of your application and will ask you to input information that will be used to determine if you are eligible for benefits. It’s important that you file for unemployment benefits as soon as you have lost your job so that you do not lose out on any benefits.
- Determine the amount and duration of your benefit. Your application will be processed as soon as possible, and in most cases, you will hear back from the department within 10 days of filing. You will receive a wage transcript and a benefits computation form that will explain what you may possibly receive each week and for how long you can receive benefits. Indiana’s maximum time for collecting unemployment benefits is capped at 26 weeks.
- Know how and when you will be paid. Indiana unemployment compensation is paid weekly. To receive your benefits, the DWD will issue you a debit card, which should arrive within 21 days of the date you file for unemployment. Benefits are only paid through the debit card. Your weekly Indiana unemployment amount cannot be higher than $390. The minimum amount you can receive is $50.
- Conduct an ongoing job search. You are required to submit proof that you are hunting for a new job. This is managed through a claim voucher system. These vouchers are used to request your benefit payments, and must be submitted online to the DWD or through a WorkOne center. You’ll be required to submit a voucher each week, and will be required to fill out information that determines if you’ll receive benefits. The voucher system requires you to have registered on the Indiana Career Connect website, a state-organized job-hunting site.
- You can file an appeal if you are denied benefits. If your claim is rejected, you can file an appeal to see if your benefits will be approved.
IN Unemployment Benefits: Terminology To Know
- Base period: The first four of the last five calendar quarters that you were employed, excluding the week before you filed for unemployment benefits. The wages you earned during your base period will help the State of Indiana determine what your weekly unemployment benefit amount will be.
- Benefit period: The 52 weeks following the time you applied for unemployment benefits. You must meet Indiana unemployment benefits eligibility requirements to receive unemployment payments during this time.
- Benefit year end (BYE): The cut-off date for your unemployment benefits.
- Department of Workforce Development (DWD): This is the state agency that handles Indiana unemployment claims, benefits, and other job-related issues. The DWD will guide you through the process of filing for unemployment and will issue your weekly benefit money.
- Just cause: If you were fired from your job, an employer may have provided a “just cause.” This is the reason you were fired and can disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits in Indiana. Some examples of just cause include damaging company property, lying on a job application, repeated unexcused absences, and violating workplace safety rules.
- Lag period: The last calendar quarter where you were employed. While you earned wages during this time, this quarter does not count towards determining your unemployment benefits.
- Maximum benefit amount (MBA): This is the total amount of money that you are able to receive.
- Offer of suitable work: A job offer that is reasonable, meaning it is relevant to your work experience, is a similar kind of work, provides a similar pay scale, and is available in the same area you previously worked.
- Wage transcript: A document you will receive following your unemployment application detailing your likely benefit amount and the period of time you may receive benefits.
What Indiana unemployment qualifications should I meet to become eligible?
To qualify for unemployment benefits in Indiana, you must meet several qualifications before being granted unemployment payments. There are three specific requirements mandated by the Indiana unemployment department that impact whether or not you qualify for unemployment:
Requirement #1: Are you able to work?
Indiana unemployment laws require you to be able to find new work before you can receive benefits.
- You must be able to work
- You must be available to work
- You must be actively searching for a full-time job
Requirement #2: Did you lose your job through no fault of your own?
- Did you quit your job voluntarily? If so, and your reason for quitting was not work-related, you cannot receive benefits. Work-related reasons for quitting that still allow you to qualify for unemployment benefits include:
- Worksite safety violations
- Your previous employer made unreasonable changes to your work duties or conditions
- Military service
- Moving to follow a spouse who has accepted a new job
- Harassment, family violence, or domestic abuse