FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Jim Janulis launched his print advertising business 15 years ago to help promote local mom-and-pop shops. The coronavirus pandemic decimated his client base, forcing his own small business to halt publication of its “Main Street Ad Sheet.”
Janulis has relied on unemployment insurance benefits since mid-March to pay for utilities, a portion of his mortgage and other bills.
He panicked when he did not receive benefits for the week of Aug. 16.
“I always check the day after [filing] the voucher to make sure that everything went through OK and I noticed I had zero amount awarded to me,” the Fishers resident told News 8.
Janulis is among more than 20,000 Hoosiers who did not receive unemployment payments on time for the week of Aug. 16.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) blamed the delays on widespread confusion caused by a new voucher prompt.
“DWD introduced a question on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly vouchers to help identify fraud,” a department spokesperson said in an emailed statement to News 8. “The question, however, has created enough confusion among some claimants that it has become an issue that is now being resolved. DWD is reviewing claimant answers and will cancel all issues where it appears there was confusion. The issue is expected to be resolved by mid-week.”
Janulis still had not received his payment on Thursday.
He learned about the issue after contacting the DWD’s benefits call center and spending an hour on hold.
He questioned why officials did not notify recipients impacted by the delays or publicly acknowledge the issue on the DWD’s website.
“People just like myself could be very concerned. It’s just stressful,” Janulis said.
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