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Unemployment overpayment waivers surge after I-Team 8 investigation, thousands still pending

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Since July 1, the Department of Workforce Development says they have received 1,999 waiver applications. However, only about one in every six of those applications has been approved.

“It’s not working,” Jennifer Glynn said, referring to putting in a waiver application. “It’s pointless.”

Glynn has been running a Facebook help group for months now. She says claimants are better off trying to prove they supplied all the right documents from the beginning and show the error was on the department through the appeal process.

“People were specifically asking call center representatives, ‘Is this document sufficient?’ They were being told yes. So why is it not sufficient now? I don’t know. So now they’re being denied,” Glynn said.

According to the Workforce Development, since July 1, 334 unemployment overpayment waiver applications have been approved, which is more than three times as many that got approved in the first eight months of the program. Sixty of those applications have been denied due to fraud. More than 1,600 applications have yet to be processed.

“You’re guilty until you prove otherwise,” Sharon Baker told I-Team 8 back in July.

She owed over $10,000 in overpayments at the time. She now says that she was able to get her overpayment waived through the appeal process.

However, not everyone who has reached out to I-Team 8 has had that kind of victory. The department says since November of 2020, they have received 4,460 unemployment overpayment waiver applications.

Almost half of those applications were received in the last two and half months. Since I-Team 8 began their investigation in summer, the rate of unemployment overpayment waiver applications received has more than doubled compared to the first eight months of the program.

Glynn says if claimants keep all their receipts and filings, for the most part, they’ve been able to have success.

“As long as they can prove they turned something in, then the PUA department has been working with people,” she said.