I-Team 8

Indiana woman goes to top, gets $10k overpayment resolved in a day

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One Indiana woman says when she received a bill stating she owed $10,327 to the Department of Workforce Development due to not getting her documents in on time, her heart dropped. She had proof that she sent everything in on time and after waiting weeks to hear back on the appeal process, she decided to take things to those in power.

“When you can’t get anywhere with somebody, whether it’s customer service or whatever, then you go to the top,” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, explained.

She tells I-Team 8 she found the Indiana Transparency Portal that allows you to search each Indiana State agency, including the Department of Workforce Development, and pull up every employee’s name, position, email and phone number. She says she directly emailed a claims investigator and a director of appeals and copied someone from Commissioner Fred Payne’s office, providing evidence she did, indeed, get all of her proper documents in time.

One day after sending that email, she says she was told her “appeal was cancelled.”

She received a document saying, “IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERDED that this case be cancelled and this matter be referred to the Adjudication Section for correction. Please be aware that parties adversely affected by a change or modifications to benefit rights have appeal rights to the UI Appeals Division… Appeals apologizes for any confusion/inconvenience which this situation may have caused the parties.”

One week later, her overpayment had been removed from her correspondence.

She tells I-Team 8 that the problems with the thousands of overpayments starts with the people at the top: Commissioner Fred Payne and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Two weeks ago, I-Team 8 brought the issue to Payne at a press conference. He said, “Each one of those cases will be handled on a fact by fact basis.”

On Tuesday, Holcomb told I-Team 8 reporter Jasmine Minor the same thing.

“We go through them one by one by one,” said Holcomb.

However, the woman says those responses aren’t good enough.

“We will handle all these on an individual basis? It’s like, no!,” she said. “[It’s] a lazy way to hold innocent people responsible to fix their screw up. They’re being lazy and they don’t deserve their jobs.”

If you are looking to make a direct contact with someone at the DWD, click here.

You can search the agency by typing “Workforce Development.” The drop down option of “Division” allows you to search different places in the DWD.

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