Indiana News

Salon owner takes issue with portrayal from Indiana Workforce Development officials

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A small business owner who is facing a $10,000 bill for a supposed overpayment of pandemic benefits did not hear what she hoped to hear from state officials finally addressing the issues Friday morning that we’ve been bringing up for weeks.

We first talked to Lynn Moreau, the owner of The Eyelash Place, almost two weeks ago. We talked again on Saturday after the much-anticipated press conference from the Department of Workforce Development.

Moreau said she didn’t want to miss it, but takes issue with their words, especially when DWD Commissioner Fred Payne said, “we’re not in the business of being overly burdensome to individuals.”

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments were a lifeline to Moreau because of a business which screeched to a halt during the pandemic.

She’s now fighting the state’s action.

Since we first interviewed her, she now realizes while the state is demanding 23 payments of $449 dollars, a total of $10, 317, her bank statements clearly show her getting a weekly deposit of $386, a total difference of $1,449. She also believes she didn’t receive the first payment in January.

“They’re obviously mistaken or they’re doing something wrong,” Moreau said. “I’m in shock. I can’t believe they can send out $10,000 bills to people who didn’t even get 10,000.”

It’s part of the reason she really wanted to see Friday’s press conference as officials addressed Hoosiers like her.

Payne said, “each one of those cases will be handled on a fact-by-fact basis.”

Moreau agrees.

“Are they? That would be great,” she said. “They should really.”

Instead, Moreau now waits to be informed of her hearing in front of a judge.

When she looked at the four-page form for the overpayment waiver which includes detailed sections on assets as well as expenses, she was not encouraged.

“I feel like I might be applying for a job with the FBI they want to know so much. That should not be,” Moreau said.

She’s now worried that she’s somehow miss the notification for the hearing.

She was most disappointed that Indiana officials haven’t waived nonfraudulent overpayment like other states, something we reported on Tuesday.

Payne said the Department has stopped going after people who have filed a waiver of appealed.

“If there is an individual who received overpayment and they’ve provided us with a waiver or they’ve appealed it, we’ve stopped any type of attempts,” Payne said.

“It shouldn’t be on us,” maintains Moreau. “It should be on them to do the right thing, to make it easy.”

The Department of Workforce Development declined to provide further comment Saturday evening.


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