I-Team 8

Someone in Canada collects Indiana man’s unemployment benefits

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Workforce Development uses the company ID.ME to verify identifications before people are allowed to file claims for unemployment..

A couple weeks ago, Terrence Reilly lost his job. He says, for the first time in adult life, he was forced to file for unemployment benefits.

Reilly says he’s not a “sit on the front porch” kind of guy and would rather be mowing the lawn or work in the yard. “I’m only looking for a temporary solution until I get back to workforce. I’m not somebody that likes to sit around and do nothing,” Reilly said. 

He ran into a snag when applying with Workforce Development. The rural, central Indiana man found someone was already using his Social Security number when he tried to verify his identification with the state.

“Somebody has been filling unemployment under my name and Social Security number, and they have been drawing it. The number to register the account is from Canada,” Reilly said. 

Reilly lives out in the country where internet service is not the best. To access the Workforce Development unemployment website, he had to travel to the unemployment office in Rushville. 

But, he quickly learned, “I can’t access it at all. I’m completely locked out.”

As he was trying to get his identification verified, Reilly says , he discovered his name and Social Security number had been flagged as a possible fraudulent account. That was three weeks ago, and he says getting answer on how to fix the problem has been a headache.  

“I’m supposed to wait for contact from the fraud administrator or the fraud department, I’m not sure what they are called. My attempts to contact them have been completely stonewalled. I cannot get through to anybody,” Reilly said. 

News 8 contacted Workforce Development leaders, who said they are working to straighten out Reilly’s issues.  

Reilly says he has signed up for a credit-monitoring program to keep an eye on his Social Security number. However, that does little to fix his current problem. Since his Social Security number and name are compromised and under investigation for fraud, he can’t file for the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food assistance or any other government help until the matter is resolved by Workforce Development.

“It is my understanding there are a lot of things I can’t get access to because they are tied to unemployment and unemployment benefits,” Reilly said. 

Reilly says he can hang on without unemployment benefits for a while but he doesn’t know how long.