Judge Orders Indiana To Continue Federal Unemployment Benefits

Jun 25, 2021

The reflection of the statehouse in the Department of Workforce Development headquarters in Indianapolis.
Credit Justin Hicks/IPB News

Unemployed Hoosiers celebrate after an Indiana judge ordered the state Friday afternoon to restart federal unemployment benefits. That order directs officials to contact the federal Department of Labor “immediately” to restart the agreement.

Superior Court Judge John Hanley issued an injunction against the state’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits on June 19. He wrote that the harm to unemployed plaintiffs outweighs the risks -- especially since the federal government is footing the bill for benefits. The judge wrote the state is responsible for giving all “rights and benefits” of federal law to its citizens.

Mary McCloskey created a Facebook group during the pandemic to help Hoosiers navigate the unemployment benefits system. She said many who were vulnerable are now ecstatic.

“They finally are feeling some kind of justice,” she said. “You know, some kind of vindication that what they’ve been seeing and what they’ve been feeling ... you know, somebody is being held accountable.”

The Department of Workforce Development estimated more than 150,000 people are affected, with 80 percent relying solely on federal programs.