(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Thousands of Hoosiers will continue receiving unemployment benefits now that President Obama has signed an extension of the federal safety net.
More than 80,000 state residents who have been out of work for more than six months can breath a temporary sigh of relief as they look for new jobs. Hoosiers who have already exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment won't be affected.
However, it may take a few weeks to kick back in for those who are just now or recently have exhausted the benefits.
“Really there are some significant changes made to the underlying system and how we calculate benefits and those things have to be programmed in before we can resume restoring eligibility to people,” said Marc Lotter of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
It took several attempts by Congress to extend the benefits. Democrats finally broke a Republican filibuster in the Senate this week when a new senator from West Virginia, replacing recently deceased Senator Robert Byrd, was sworn in.
Despite the extension, Lotter warns it will take a few weeks for the unemployment extension to kick in due to some computer reprogramming that must be done.
“We’re also dealing with about 80,000 people that we have to restore benefits for,” he said. “We have to go in and find them in the system, find where they are in the system and where they are in terms of where their unemployment is, and then go back in time and restore that.”
The extension keeps the unemployment checks flowing into November.