Indiana joining federal program for $300 unemployment benefits boost

It took several weeks for distribution of the initial federal jobless aid to start in Indiana after Congress approved it in March following widespread business shutdowns as the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 4:35 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will join a federal coronavirus program providing an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits, although officials said Wednesday it could take up to a month for those payments to begin.

Health officials reported 15 more coronavirus-related deaths across the state, while the number of people confirmed with COVID-19 infections and those undergoing tests continued their recent declines.

JOBLESS AID

President Donald Trump this month signed an executive order extending the added weekly benefit after he and Congress were unable to agree to a broader new pandemic relief plan.

The new payment is half the $600 people had been receiving under a previous benefit program that expired last month.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said the Indiana payments would be retroactive to Aug. 1.

It took several weeks for distribution of the initial federal jobless aid to start in Indiana after Congress approved it in March following widespread business shutdowns as the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country.

Payments from the new program likely won’t begin for two to four weeks as computer systems are updated, said Fred Payne, commissioner of Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development.

“It is going to take a little bit of extra effort on our part in terms of moving staff to build a new system and that system requires us to look at some new infrastructure,” Payne said.

The $300 payments will more than double Indiana’s average $280 weekly unemployment payment, which has a maximum of $390 a week.

Residents will have to be receiving $100 a week in unemployment aid to be eligible for the additional federal aid, a level which Indiana officials said the vast majority of those aid recipients currently met.

Indiana was paying unemployment benefits to about 330,000 people in late July, according to federal statistics.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said the additional funding may last roughly five or six weeks depending on how many states participate. Indiana’s unemployment rate was 11.3 in June — down from 17.5% in April.

TRACKING SCHOOLS

State officials are working to develop a public website that will track the number of coronavirus cases among students, teacher and other employees at Indiana’s K-12 schools.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said her goal was to have website available by mid- to late September and that the information would broken down by individual school.

The public tracking system is being developed as school districts across the state have struggled with reopening decisions.

Holcomb and state health officials have declined to set benchmarks for the circumstances when schools should close their doors to students.

Several of the state’s largest school districts have started the academic year with only online classes.

Some opened with in-person classes only to backtrack after facing coronavirus cases.

VIRUS SPREAD

Indiana’s newly recorded deaths raise the state’s pandemic death toll to 3,180, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases, in the five months since Indiana’s first fatality was reported in mid-March, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Most of the new deaths occurred Monday or Tuesday.

The 506 new coronavirus cases lowered the state’s seven-day average of newly confirmed infections to 834 on Tuesday.

That average has been declining since reaching 945 in early August as the number of tests being conducted has fallen about 10% since late July.

State statistics show that Indiana hospitals were treating 842 patients with the COVID-19 respiratory disease on Tuesday, down from about 1,000 two weeks ago.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 730969

Reported Deaths: 13434
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1000031743
Lake53771970
Allen40668678
St. Joseph35733552
Hamilton35629408
Elkhart28577442
Tippecanoe22402219
Vanderburgh22310397
Porter18776308
Johnson17970379
Hendricks17244315
Clark12985191
Madison12673339
Vigo12449247
LaPorte11928211
Monroe11893170
Delaware10696186
Howard9924216
Kosciusko9410117
Hancock8284141
Bartholomew8070156
Warrick7784155
Floyd7669178
Grant7060174
Wayne7051199
Boone6700101
Morgan6576139
Dubois6156117
Marshall6050111
Dearborn581378
Cass5808105
Henry5720103
Noble561384
Jackson501773
Shelby491996
Lawrence4546120
Harrison435872
Gibson435492
DeKalb428485
Clinton427453
Montgomery424189
Whitley396139
Huntington391980
Steuben387857
Miami381866
Knox371990
Jasper366047
Putnam360760
Wabash354179
Adams341354
Ripley339770
Jefferson330981
White314354
Daviess297399
Wells291581
Decatur285492
Fayette280762
Greene278985
Posey271533
LaGrange266770
Scott266354
Clay260247
Randolph240781
Washington240732
Spencer232131
Jennings230149
Starke216654
Fountain212346
Sullivan211942
Owen200256
Fulton195440
Jay195130
Carroll189320
Orange183654
Perry183037
Rush173425
Vermillion169143
Franklin168135
Tipton162845
Parke146316
Blackford134932
Pike134334
Pulaski116845
Newton107834
Brown102141
Crawford99814
Benton98614
Martin89115
Warren82115
Switzerland7918
Union71010
Ohio56811
Unassigned0416

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1085733

Reported Deaths: 19441
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1261201400
Cuyahoga1124072120
Hamilton801491206
Montgomery515591014
Summit47292946
Lucas42275788
Butler38396584
Stark32412907
Lorain25046481
Warren24313300
Mahoning21629588
Lake20725369
Clermont19803238
Delaware18537133
Licking16436212
Fairfield16230200
Trumbull16082468
Medina15309264
Greene15099244
Clark14017299
Wood13113189
Portage12890203
Allen11675232
Richland11382199
Miami10686217
Wayne8843211
Columbiana8816229
Muskingum8815133
Pickaway8582121
Marion8539135
Tuscarawas8487244
Erie7917154
Hancock6929127
Ross6858155
Ashtabula6830170
Geauga6697148
Scioto6417101
Belmont5920167
Union571048
Lawrence5560102
Jefferson5544151
Huron5439119
Darke5364123
Sandusky5359121
Seneca5290121
Athens520058
Washington5160109
Auglaize491984
Mercer480885
Shelby470093
Knox4495110
Madison436661
Putnam4287100
Fulton423969
Ashland423189
Defiance421097
Crawford3978107
Brown395057
Logan382376
Preble379898
Clinton372963
Ottawa367479
Highland355662
Williams340275
Champaign333458
Guernsey316253
Jackson312652
Perry295350
Morrow285639
Fayette282250
Hardin271464
Henry269366
Coshocton265357
Holmes2611101
Van Wert243763
Adams238552
Pike237734
Gallia235949
Wyandot231555
Hocking215462
Carroll191647
Paulding173340
Meigs144940
Noble133337
Monroe132342
Harrison108537
Morgan108523
Vinton83515
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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