Only five federal workers from Indiana will have to repay unemployment insurance benefits they collected during the partial government shutdown, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
The U.S. Labor Department has directed states to recover jobless benefits distributed to federal employees because those workers will receive back pay for the time they were furloughed during the 16-day shutdown.
Joe Frank, communications director for Workforce Development, said Monday that although 2,200 federal employees in Indiana filed for unemployment insurance, just five workers had received aid.
The total dollar amount was less than $2,000, Frank said in an email. They will be able to pay back the money without penalties or interest, which is common UI practice for those who did not fraudulently apply for benefit.
Shutdown-related furloughs in northeast Indiana included 216 members of the Air National Guards 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne. The airmen missed less than a week of work beginning Oct. 1 before Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered most civilian military employees to return to their jobs.
In all, about 1,000 members of the Indiana National Guard were furloughed for 3 1/2 days. Lt. Col. Cathy Van Bree, public affairs officer for the Guard, said Monday the employees were not off work long enough to be eligible for unemployment benefits.