(“Because statutes are examined as a whole, it is often necessary to avoid excessive
reliance on a strict literal meaning of the words or phrases in the statute.”).
Even if we were to view this subsection as ambiguous, “we will presume the
legislature intended its language to be applied logically and consistently with the
underlying goals and policy of the statute.” State v. Hammans, 870 N.E.2d 1071, __
(Ind. Ct. App. 2007). “A statute’s meaning and interpretation are to be ascertained not
only from the phraseology of the statute but also by considering its nature, design, and
the consequences that flow from the reasonable alternative interpretations of the statute.”
Id. The design and phrases of this statute do not contemplate providing unemployment
benefits to Indiana workers who leave the workforce because of a relative’s disability.
Whiteside’s interpretation of this subsection would increase the availability of
unemployment benefits to an undefined class of employees which could include those
with ailing parents, spouses, siblings, children or other dependants, yet nothing in the
Unemployment Compensation Act suggests our legislature intended this result. While
we empathize with Whiteside’s difficult circumstance and find her decision to care for
her son in a full time capacity commendable, Indiana’s Act does not provide for benefits
in this instance. Because Whiteside was not personally suffering from a substantiated
medical disability, the Board had no reason to consider or apply this statutory section in
reaching its conclusions of law.
Indiana Code Section 22-4-15-1(c)(2) does not include exclusions for disability of
a claimant’s relative and therefore does apply to make Whiteside eligible for benefits due 6