Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As Federal Benefits Reopen, DWD Addresses Overpayments, Fraud

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Federal unemployment benefits are back on in Indiana. State officials said they’ve already paid 25,000 people on the first day while they also gave updates on unemployment fraud and overpayments at a press conference.

The Department of Workforce Development said its goal remains the same: to get benefits to people who need them while getting them resources to get back to work. But the department says fraud is still making that difficult.

READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.

DWD Commissioner Fred Payne said 27 percent of claims passed through ID verification software were found to be fraudulent. He said even he and his wife had their identities used to file bogus claims. 

“The fraudsters don’t stop, but our system protected us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hoosiers are still receiving notices that they were overpaid benefits and must pay them back. Officials said people can file an appeal or fill out a waiver to have their case reviewed. While a case is under review, DWD will not force people to pay.

Contact reporter Justin at or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

Justin Hicks joined the reporting team for Indiana Public Broadcasting News (IPB News) through funding made available by (IPBS) Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. Justin was based out of WVPE in his new role as a Workforce Development Reporter for IPB News.