Review Employer Charge Statements from Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development for Accuracy

If you are - or work for - an employer dealing with layoffs, furloughs, or separations, it is important for you to be vigilant in reviewing the Charge Statements issued by Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

The recent and unprecedented amount of unemployment assistance issued by the federal government serves a tremendous humanitarian purpose. However, the rush to distribute these resources coupled with overburdened agents working in understaffed agencies creates conditions ripe for administrative errors.For example, Barrett’s employment attorneys have heard reports suggesting that some furloughed employees may be receiving both wage payments from employers and unemployment benefits.This set of circumstances may unintentionally and negatively impact employers.

Each month, the DWD sends a Statement of Benefit Charges (State Form 535) to employers whose accounts have been changed because benefits were paid to claimants.If the charges listed are not correct, the DWD asks the employer to call them at (800) 891- 6499 (press option 1 for general benefit questions) to address the matter.The purpose of this call is to place the DWD on notice that the worker may have returned to work, received payments that should have been reported as deductible income, or refused an offer of work.All of these scenarios could affect the amounts the employer is charged by the State of Indiana so that unemployment compensation benefits can be provided to properly qualified applicants.We recommend that you proactively provide the DWD with written objections to document your position, which could include any type of documents that clearly identify who received how much and why. While this process may sound very similar to the appeals process for a contested claimant, the purpose is not to challenge whether one claimant might be entitled to benefits, but to ensure that the employer is being properly charged.

Importantly, some forms of payments issued by employers to recently laid off or furloughed workers will not impact unemployment compensation benefits payable to a qualified applicant.

Should you have any questions in this regard, the attorneys in Barrett McNagny’s Employment Law Group are always available to assist.

General questions for the DWD can be sent to: AskDWDCommissioner@dwd.IN.gov

See www.in.gov/dwd for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development webpage.

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