STATEWIDE — Many Hoosiers are still dealing with having to repay the state for overpaid COVID relief money.
You may recall that the state gave out more COVID relief from the federal government than it was supposed to do. In order to make up for the lost funds, the state has requested that Hoosiers pay that money back.
The problem for most is that the money they were given has already been spent, and thus, they can’t pay it back. The state has a waiver process so that Hoosiers can appeal to keep that money, but some state lawmakers say their constituents are telling them that process is at a snail’s pace.
“We have heard that the system is outdated, that it’s antiquated, and that’s part of the reason for the slowdown,” said South Bend State Sen. David Niezgodski (D) to WISH-TV. “But I have to be honest, I’ve heard that the system is antiquated for a very, very long period of time, so what’s it going to take?”
Between March and June, Indiana has only waived overpayments for $412, total, while many surrounding states at that time had waived thousands. Indiana is catching up, having waived repayments for nearly $35,000, but that is still way behind other states, which have now waived millions.
That $35,000 only likely makes up about a dozen cases, say experts.
“Being a little more compassionate to Hoosiers. Other states are,” said Indianapolis State Rep. Gregory Porter (D). “Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, other states are more compassionate towards their residents.”
Porter said it’s mentally tiring and stressful for his constituents who are having to wait several months to get an appeal from the state on their overpayments.