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News 8 gets 600+ complaints about unemployment benefits; some eye legal action

INDIANPOLIS (WISH) — News 8 has collected over 600 emails from viewers describing their unemployment issues since Friday.

A majority of the viewers explained they are being forced to repay pandemic unemployment benefits in the tens of thousands of dollars. But now, many also are writing that they have or are considering retaining a lawyer.

“If it comes to hiring an attorney, I will,” Kecia Thompson said Tuesday.

Thompson says her issues started a couple of months ago when she tried to upload her documents proving her eligibility for unemployment, but she says the link wasn’t working. That’s when she received a notification stating that she owes $10,327 to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

“I was just done at that point,” Thompson said. “I walked in the office and they told me what to do and I did that, and I’ve been waiting on a court date.”

But, that was over two weeks ago. Thompson says she still doesn’t have a date and, in the meantime, there’s no money coming in.

“It’s very stressful. I’ve got three kids that are out of school. So, I’m having to be a teacher, a mom and a caregiver all at the same time and to add that type of stress on somebody, I don’t understand it.”

While she considers hiring an attorney, she says she’s been applying for 10 jobs a day but has had trouble finding anything available. Still, the mom of three says, she has no intention of paying that money and she’s not going down without a fight.

“I mean, we’re going to fight to the end.”