The below questions and answers have been updated pursuant to Executive Order 20-05 and Executive Order 20-12. Updated 4-24-2020
*NOTE: All new additions are in red*
HOW DO I FILE?
Q1. How do I file for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A1. Online, using a computer or smart phone. Go to www.Unemployment.IN.gov to file, and to see Frequently Asked Questions, the Claimant Handbook, and video tutorials.
Q2. What information do I need when I apply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits online?
A2. You will need the following information to file:
- A valid email account – your email address will become your Username;
- Your personal information, including your:
- o Indiana Driver’s license or Indiana ID card;
- o Address; o Social security number (SSN);
- o Date of birth; and
- o Phone number.
- Information about your last employer, including:
- o Employer’s name/company name;
- o Employer’s mailing address; and
- o Employer’s phone number.
- Information about your employment, including your:
- o Dates of employment; and
- o The reason you are unemployed.
- Your bank routing number and account number if you chose direct deposit as your payment option (NOTE: a debit card – Key2Benefits prepaid MasterCard® – is also available).
Q3: I have an Uplink Claimant Self-Service account but I cannot log-in to file my claim or voucher because I forgot my username or password. What should I do?
A3: Visit the Uplink Claimant Self-Service home page and choose “Forgot Username” or “Forgot Password” to reset it yourself. You will be prompted to enter your SSN, date of birth, and other information to confirm your identity. You will then be able to create a new username or password. If you need
Q4. I am applying on my smartphone and I cannot enter my driver’s license number, date of birth
A4. Please try using a different browser (like Mozilla Firefox) or try voice dictation to enter the numbers. This appears to be an issue with some phones using certain apps to apply, and we are working on the issue.
Q5. I am a New User to Uplink Claimant Self-Service and completed the registration process. What do I do next?
A5. As part of the registration process, DWD will send you an “Email Account Verification” link to the email address you provided. This can take several hours to receive depending on the number of other new users also registering. Once you receive the email, you will be able to complete the registration process and file a claim after clicking on the “Confirm Email” provided in the email. If you enter an invalid email address, you will need to wait 24 hours to re-enter your correct email address and finish the registration process.
Q6. If I live in one state but work in another or work in multiple states, which state do I file in?
A6. Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you work in more than one state, you should file where your employer filed your wages. If you worked for more than one employer in different states, file where you primarily worked. If you file in the other state, it could take longer to obtain your wages to fully review the claim. If you did not work in Indiana at all, you should not file in Indiana.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
Q7. If my employer temporarily shuts down or lays me off because of COVID-19, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A7. Yes, if an employer must lay off employees due to COVID-19, the employees will be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits if they have earned enough wages to set up a claim and meet the weekly eligibility criteria. Employees must stay in contact with your employer and be available to work when called back by your employer.
Q8. If I am in quarantine based on a directive from my medical professional or my employer due to COVID-19, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A8. Yes, if you are not receiving sick pay or other leave pay from your employer, meet the minimum amount of wages, and the reason you are out-of-work is because of the medical quarantine, you will be eligible under Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order during this public health emergency.
Q9. If I cannot continue to work because I am caring for my child (or children) while their school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19, am I still eligible for benefits?
A9. Yes, if you are otherwise eligible, are not receiving sick pay or other leave pay from your employer, meet the minimum amount of wages, and the reason you are out-of-work is because of the school or daycare closure, you will be eligible under Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order during this public health emergency.
Q10. If I am compensated partially by tips, such as in the restaurant industry, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A10. If you are laid-off or have lost work related to COVID-19 and you meet the minimum amount of wages, then yes, you will be eligible. However, whether you meet the minimum amount of wages will probably depend upon how your employer reported your earnings to DWD in their quarterly reports. If your employer reported tips as part of your wages, then those tips are included in your base period wages. If your employer did not report tips as part of your wages, it is possible you will not meet the minimum. If you receive a DWD determination that you do not meet the minimum amount, you can appeal that determination and request that DWD
Q11. If my hours are reduced but I am still employed, can I apply?
A11: Yes, you may be eligible for benefits, but part-time employment during the week claimed will reduce the
Q12: If I decide to remain at home because of COVID-19 with no directive from a medical professional or from my employer to do so, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A12: In most cases, no. However, the facts of each circumstance are important. You can file and DWD will evaluate your claim.
Q13: If I am not working due to COVID-19 and am receiving sick pay or other leave pay from my employer, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A13: Individuals receiving sick pay or other leave pay are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. However, the facts of each circumstance are important. You can file and DWD will evaluate your claim. If you are no longer receiving sick pay or other leave pay, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits and should apply.
Q14. If my hours are reduced but I am still employed, am I still eligible for UI benefits?
A14: Maybe, but part-time employment during the week claimed will reduce the
Q15. If I am paid a bonus during the period of separation, will I be eligible for UI benefits?
A15. Maybe. If you receive payments from your employees while you are collecting UI, you may have to declare the payment as deductible income. Sick pay, vacation pay, severance pay, payment in lieu of notice, and holiday pay are all deductible income, and you must report it. Bonuses are wages for your employer’s tax purposes, but bonuses are not deductible income for UI benefits, thus it does not impact your UI benefits.
Q16. If I am self-employed, part of the “gig” economy
A16. Self-employed individuals, independent contractors/gig economy workers
Q17: When will the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program be available?
A17: PUA applications will be available in the online filing system, Uplink, on April 24, 2020 for those that have filed for and been denied regular UI. You will have a “To Do” on your claimant homepage to complete your PUA application. You will also be able to file weekly vouchers. You will need to file all past vouchers and file weekly vouchers moving forward.
Q18: Am I eligible to apply for the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits from the federal government?
A18: This CARES Act program is called Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (FPUC). If you are eligible for regular UI or are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA), you will receive the additional $600. FPUC is effective from
Q19: What documentation do I need to provide proof of my earnings for PUA?
A19: When you file your PUA application, you will be asked if you filed your 2019 taxes with the State of Indiana. If you have, you will need to enter your federally adjusted gross income from your tax return. If you have not filed your 2019 state taxes, you will need to enter your 2019 earnings. To do so, you will need to collect all 2019 W-2’s, 1099’s, and pay stubs. You will need to add them together to determine the amount that you should enter as earnings on your PUA application. Save these documents since DWD may require you to provide copies of these documents in order to complete the claims filing process. You will be notified if you need to send DWD copies of these documents. DWD will use state tax information to review eligibility and prevent fraud in the PUA program.
Q20: Unemployment benefits have been expanded from a maximum of 26 weeks to 39 weeks. Who’s eligible for the expansion?
A20: This is referred to as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and is part of the federal CARES Act. It is not available yet. This program is for claimants whose most recent unemployment insurance claim expired after 7/1/2019 or received their full Maximum Benefit Amount. The earliest payable week in the program begins week ending Apr 4, 2020. Claimants who were eligible for the program but were unable to file vouchers back to their earliest date of eligibility for the program will be provided the opportunity to submit vouchers for any missed weeks. Vouchers will be made available on the claimant homepage as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, claimants should continue to monitor Uplink Homepage.
Q21: If I already exhausted my 26 weeks of benefits, when will I have access to the additional 13 weeks?
A21: Unemployment benefits are typically available to eligible claimants for up to 26 weeks. With the federal CARES Act passage, unemployment benefits have been extended to up to 39 weeks, or an additional 13 weeks. This program, referred to as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PUEC), is not available yet. DWD is working to implement this program as soon as possible. Check www.Unemployment.IN.gov for more information. Once the program is implemented, claimants can be eligible for their prior regular UI weekly benefit amount plus the additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation retroactive to week ending 4/4/20.
Q22. What is the amount of wages I must earn to meet the minimum eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A22. If you have not earned enough wages to meet the minimum eligibility, then you will not be eligible. This is determined by how much money you earned while working during your base period. Your base period includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week you file an initial claim application for UI benefits. If you file your initial claim application for UI between January 5, 2020, and April 4, 2020, your base period will be Q4 2018, Q1 2019, Q2 2019, and Q3 2019, which covers the dates October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019. If you file your initial claim application for UI benefits between April 5, 2020, and July 4, 2020, your base period will be Q1 2019, Q2 2019, Q3 2019, and Q4 2019, which covers the dates from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.
The wages you earned during your base period are used to determine if you qualify for benefits and also to calculate how much you can be paid. The last quarter you worked is called the lag quarter, and no wages from that quarter count in your base period.
To meet the minimum eligibility for UI, your total wages during your base period must be equal to at least one and one-half (1.5) multiplied by your wages in the highest quarter of your base period. Your base period wages must also total at least $4,200, with at least $2,500 of those wages earned in the last six (6) months of the base period. For an example of this calculation, review pages 7-8 of the Claimant Handbook, found at https://www.in.gov/dwd/files/Claimant_Handbook.pdf
We understand this is a complicated calculation, so the easiest way to find out if you meet the minimum eligibility is to file your claim immediately upon being laid-off and we will complete a wage calculation as part of your application process and notify you whether you met the minimum amount.
Q23: If I have read all of the frequently asked questions and am still unsure if I would be eligible, what should I do?
A23: Please file your claim. As long as you read the questions carefully and answer honestly, there is no penalty for filing. Once you have completed your claim, DWD will be able to determine your eligibility. Review the attached and below chart to more information on the various unemployment insurance options available to Hoosiers. https://www.in.gov/dwd/files/Cares_Act_Diagram_Final.pdf
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILE?
Q24: I filed a claim and the Uplink online system shows that I have an issue holding my payments. What does that mean?
A24: This means that your claim or voucher needs further analysis. This could be due to your earnings, your answers during filing, information from your employer, or information from other sources. Do not be worried. This is the normal process for many claims. A DWD Claims Investigator may have to contact you and/or your employer for more information. They also may be able to make a determination without contacting you. Under normal circumstances, decisions are typically made within 21 days but due to the high volume of claims, it could take longer to review claims that have issues that need to be reviewed.
Q25. If I was furloughed or laid off by my employer, but will go back to work for my same employer, how long will it take to review my claim?
A25. If you meet the monetary requirements for benefits (you will receive a Monetary Determination of Eligibility that shows your weekly benefit amount greater than $0) and your employer does not protest the claim, your claim will be resolved in 14 days IF ALL of the following circumstances apply:
- Your last day of paid work ended at the end of the week (you do not have a partial week of wages)
- You were laid off due to lack of work – you were not fired and did not quit.
- You are going to be paid for the days you worked, but nothing else.
- No sick pay
- No vacation pay
- No holiday pay
- No severance
- Not taking money from a pension
- You are able to work (except for COVID)
- You are available for work (except for COVID)
If you do not meet ALL of the above circumstances, you will have an issue on your claim that must be resolved. Do not be worried. This is the normal process for many claims. A DWD Claims Investigator may have to contact you and/or your employer for more information. They also may be able to make a determination without contacting you. Under normal circumstances, decisions are typically made within 21 days but due to the high volume of claims, it is taking longer to review claims that have issues that need to be reviewed.
Q26: Do I need to file anything else after the initial claim application for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?
A26: Yes. You must file a voucher EACH WEEK through the Uplink online filing system and comply with the terms of the weekly vouchers to continue to be eligible for and receive benefits each week. You must submit your weekly voucher during the week following your initial application and then every week after for as long as you remain unemployed. You must file the weekly vouchers even if you have not received a determination regarding eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.
Q27: Is the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits being waived?
A27: Yes. The one-week waiting period for payment of unemployment insurance (UI) was waived by the Governor’s Executive Order. The waiver is retroactive to the week of March 8, 2020. This means that benefits will be paid for the first week you are eligible. This week of benefits may not appear immediately in your account, but DWD is working diligently to get this week added on each eligible claim.
Q28: When will I receive my first unemployment insurance (UI) payment?
A28: You should receive your first payment within three weeks if there are no issues with your initial claim application for benefits. You can choose between: (1) Direct Deposit, or (2) a Key2Benefits debit card. You can make this payment election when you file your claim. If you select Direct Deposit, your money will deposited in the bank account you provide within two business days of the claim voucher being approved (this will be 2 days from the date you see in Uplink). If you select a Key2Benefits debit card, the card will be mailed by regular first class mail two business days after you make the election. If your claim voucher is approved, your card will be funded within two business days. If your claim voucher is not approved, money will not be loaded onto the card. Please note that the Key Bank local branches cannot assist you with payment questions. Visit www.Unemployment.IN.gov, section Payment Options in the quick links, to get all of your payment questions answered and find telephone numbers if you still have questions.
Q29: Could unemployment be offered indefinitely through this crisis?
A29: Unemployment benefits are typically available to eligible claimants for up to 26 weeks. With the federal CARES Act passage, unemployment benefits have been extended to up to 39 weeks.
Q30: Am I still required to search for work or conduct reemployment activities during the pandemic?
A30: No, during this emergency, the requirement that claimants actively search for work each week that they receive benefits has been waived. However, claimants still must be “able and available for work.”
Q31. If I receive a “Check Stub Coversheet” asking me to send a copy of my pay stubs to DWD via mail or fax, but I do not have a fax machine, can I email these?
A31. You likely received a form called “Check Stub Coversheet.” If so, this is automatically sent to a claimant who might have a deductible income issue (you reported receiving vacation pay, sick pay or the like from your employer). If you fax the information, then it goes to the DWD imaging department to be imaged under your claim. When it gets assigned to a DWD claims investigator, then they will have the information. If you don’t have access to a fax machine, then you can wait until the claims investigator contacts you. There is even a chance that the claims investigator won’t need to contact you. You will not be harmed by not sending the pay stub information via fax.
Q32. How do I get paid if I am eligible?
A32. At the end of the claim filing process, you will make a payment election. You will be directed to Key Bank’s website as Key Bank is the DWD payment vendor. You can choose between: (1) Direct Deposit to a U.S. checking/savings account, or (2) a Key2Benefits prepaid MasterCard. You can also log in to Uplink CSS at any time to make or change the election. Once on CSS, click your name at the top left of the screen and choose Payment Election from the dropdown menu to start the process. You will then be able to link to KeyBank’s secure payment election portal. If they do not make a choice, they will receive a Key2Benefits prepaid MasterCard at the mailing address on file for you on CSS. As to when you will receive payment: Direct deposit: money will be deposited in the bank account provided within two business days of the weekly voucher being approved. Debit Card: money will be deposited on the Key2Benefits card within a day of the weekly voucher being approved.
More payment information is available at www.Unemployment.IN.gov, selection Payment Election.
Q33: I had a previous unemployment insurance claim that is still open. What do I do?
A33: If the claim is still open, you only need to start filing vouchers again. This will reopen the claim.
Q34: If my employer continues to provide health insurance, will it impact my benefits?
Q35: If my employer lays me off and pays for my healthcare insurance coverage through COBRA, how does that impact my unemployment insurance benefits?
A35: If your employer pays for your COBRA coverage, this is considered deductible income and must be reported to DWD and could impact the amount of UI benefits you are eligible to receive.
Q36: Do I have to use all of my paid time off (PTO), such as vacation, sick
A36: No, but you must report any PTO that has been paid to you by your employer. This is considered deductible income and will be used to calculate your weekly unemployment insurance benefit.
Q37: If I received a letter to attend an in-person Reemployment Services & Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program session at my local WorkOne for the weeks of March 16 or March 23, 2020, do I have to attend?
A37: No. The previously scheduled in-person meetings for the weeks of March 16, 2020, and March 23, 2020, are suspended. UI Claimants who received a letter to attend should receive communication from their local WorkOne that those meetings are suspended. If you have questions regarding attendance, please contact your local WorkOne.
Q38: Will DWD schedule future in-person Reemployment Services & Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program sessions at WorkOne centers?
A38: DWD will not be scheduling new RESEA in-person meetings until further notice but will be working to implement virtual services. UI Claimants who are required to participate in virtual services will be contacted.
Q39. I would like to appeal the Monetary Determination of Eligibility or the Determination of Eligibility?
A39. Information on how to file an appeal may be found in the Claimant Handbook (see section “What if I Disagree with a
Q40. Do I need to do anything if I reported other state employment on my claim and it is not showing on my monetary determination?
A40. As long as you chose the state where you physically worked, you do not need to do anything else. A request has been sent to the other state. The other state will send your wages for use in your Indiana claim. If your claim amount changes, you will be sent a new monetary determination.
Q41. Do I need to do anything if I reported Federal Civilian or Military employment and have received a monetary determination that does not show those earnings?
Q42. Do I need to do anything if I reported Federal Civilian or Military employment and have not received a monetary determination?
A42. Please follow the instructions on the Federal Employment Coversheet and/or Military Employment Coversheet you received to submit proof of earnings. We can then add those wages to your claim. If your claim amount changes, you will be sent a new monetary determination.
Q43. What should I do if I did not report out-of-state, Federal Civilian, or Military employment and should have?
A43. Please follow the instructions on the monetary determination to file an appeal.
Q44. I received my federal stimulus payment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Will this impact my unemployment insurance benefits?
A44. No. The federal stimulus payment from the IRS is not considered deductible income for unemployment insurance benefit purposes so it will not impact your weekly benefits.
Q45. I filed my initial claim late. What can I do?
A45. If you filed your initial claim late, you can request that it be back dated to the date you were unemployed by completing this form: Request to File a Late initial Claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
For more information, visit Indiana Unemployment at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website: www.Unemployment.IN.gov
CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE?
Q46. What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?
A46. PUA creates a temporary federal unemployment insurance program for individuals not otherwise eligible for UI benefits, including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, those seeking part-time employment, and individuals lacking sufficient work history but who would be able to work and looking for work were it not due to COVID-19. PUA is not payable to individuals who have the ability to telework with pay or who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits. The new federal program requires an
Q47. If I am self-employed, part of the “gig” economy
A47. Self-employed individuals, independent contractors/gig economy workers
Q48: How do I apply for PUA?
A48: To apply for PUA benefits, you must file a regular claim for unemployment insurance benefits and be denied. NOTE: if you filed and were denied prior to 4/4/20, you will need to file a new regular claim. UI is evaluated each quarter. We need to ensure you are not eligible for regular UI in this most recent quarter. If you are denied for this quarter, the PUA application will then appear on your claimant home page as a “To-Do” at the top of the screen for you to submit your PUA application. You must submit this application and answer all questions accurately in order to be eligible for PUA benefits.
Q49: How do I know if I should apply for PUA benefits?
A49: If your claimant homepage shows the “To-Do” link to complete a PUA Application, you could be eligible for PUA benefits and should apply. You will receive
Q50: Do I need to file something each week to get paid under the PUA program?
A50: Yes, just like a regular unemployment insurance claim, you need to file a weekly voucher in order to receive benefits for the week.
Q51: How do I get the additional $600 each week?
A51: The $600 additional weekly payment, or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), will automatically be applied to any eligible payments. There are no additional steps you need to take.
Q52: What documentation do I need to provide proof of my earnings for PUA?
A52: When you file your PUA application, you will be asked if you filed your 2019 taxes with the State of Indiana. If you have, you will need to enter your federally adjusted gross income from your tax return, even if you have filed your taxes jointly with another person. If you filed jointly, you will be contacted to make sure DWD uses the correct earnings amount. If you have not filed your 2019 state taxes, you will need to enter your 2019 earnings. To do so, you will need to collect all 2019 W-2’s, 1099’s, and pay stubs. You will need to add them together to determine the amount that you should enter as earnings on your PUA application. Save these documents since DWD may require you to provide copies of these documents in order to complete the claims filing process. You will be notified if you need to send DWD copies of these documents. DWD will use state tax information to review eligibility and prevent fraud in the PUA program.
Q53: I have not been able to work for months, how do I get paid under PUA for all of the time I have been unemployed due to COVID-19?
A53: You should answer all questions honestly and enter the date in which COVID-19 first affected your ability to work on your application. The first payable week of PUA is February 2, 2020. If your application meets the criteria, you should be paid back for all weeks applicable to you. All PUA payments will be audited to prevent identity theft and prevent fraud in the PUA program.
Q54: How long will PUA benefits be available? I’m still working but am afraid my business will slow down or close.
A54: The PUA program will be available through December 26, 2020.
Q55: If I’m eligible, how long can I receive payments?
A55: There is a maximum of 39 weeks payable under the PUA program. However, if you received payment for weeks from other unemployment insurance programs, those payments may be subtracted from the potentially eligible 39 weeks.
Q56: What makes someone eligible for PUA?
A56: Individuals must provide self-certification that the individual is otherwise able and available to work except that the individual is unable to work because of the following circumstances which all relate to COVID-19:
- – The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- – A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
- – The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
- – A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend
schoolor another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work; or
- – The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or
- – The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or
- – The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or
- – The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19; or
- – The individual has to quit their job because of COVID-19; or
- – The individual’s place of employment is closed because of COVID-19; or
- – The individual is self-employed, seeking part-time employment, does not otherwise qualify for benefits, and fits one of the above.
Q57: What if I am working some, but my hours are reduced?
A57: You will need to report any income earned each week you file, but if it’s below a certain amount (specific to your individual claim), then you may still be eligible for some payment of PUA during the weeks you worked and earned wages.
Q58. What are
FIRST STEP: Within the next few weeks, you will receive a document called the PUA Monetary Determination in your Claimant Correspondence in Uplink. This document will show the weekly benefit amount. Receiving the PUA Monetary Determination does not mean that you are eligible for PUA payments. Your weekly benefit amount is calculated based on the earnings you entered on your PUA application and 2019 tax information from the Indiana Department of Revenue. If you have not yet filed your 2019 tax return with the Indiana Department of Revenue, you will receive the minimum weekly benefit amount of $149 (you will also receive the additional $600 in federal pandemic unemployment assistance (FPUC)). Please follow the instructions on the Pandemic Monetary Determination to provide proof of earnings if you have not yet filed your taxes. If you worked part-time, your weekly benefit amount may be less than $149. Your PUA Monetary Determination will have additional information.
SECOND STEP: If needed, you may be contacted by a DWD Claims Investigator for additional information to determine your eligibility for PUA benefits. If you are found eligible, you will start receiving payments of your weekly vouchers. If you are not eligible, you will receive a PUA Eligibility Determination. If you disagree with that decision, you must follow the appeal instructions included
Q59. What if I entered something incorrectly on my PUA application?
A59. When you receive your PUA Monetary Determination, follow the instructions on that document if you entered incorrect information on your PUA application.