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Hazard pay application back up after state website experienced technical issues Wednesday

2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 July 14, 2020 11:00 PM July 14, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: The governor announced the state is expected to reach its limit on applications by July 18. Read more here: https://www.wbrz.com/news/state-expected-to-hit-limit-on-coronavirus-hazard-pay-applications-by-saturday

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BATON ROUGE - Workers eligible for COVID-19 hazard pay have had trouble accessing the state's online application Wednesday, hours after the application went live. 

The Department of Revenue launched the application early Wednesday, but applicants reported technical issues throughout much of the morning. The 'apply' was temporarily taken down late in the morning for maintenance, but applicants said they continued to have problems accessing the page. 

You can find the page here: https://frontlineworkers.la.gov/

The department released the following statement Wednesday. 

"The application portal at FrontlineWorkers.la.gov began accepting applications at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15, and by approximately 7 a.m. had accepted more than 14,000 applications.

Bandwidth and servers were configured to handle the high volume of applications anticipated, however a separate network connectivity issue has affected all applications on the Louisiana Taxpayer Access Point portal, including the frontline workers application, Louisiana File Online, and other tax management applications.

The state Office of Technology Services has all hands on deck working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

Updates will be provided as information becomes available."

That hazard pay of $250 dollars was passed by the state legislature during the 2020 coronavirus special session and later signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The rebate will be on a first-come, first-serve basis for around 200,000 eligible workers.

July 15 is the first day that employees can apply, but it’s also the final day to file your 2019 taxes. The state’s department of revenue says it is ready to handle the onslaught of applications they’re expecting.

Before trying to claim your own hazard pay rebate, you first need to make sure that your job position is eligible to apply.

"Specifically listed in the legislation, they were identified as the jobs that were authorized to apply,” Dept. of Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson said.

Healthcare workers, janitors, food service employees and grocery store employees are just some of the workers that are encouraged to apply. However, workers must also make less than $50,000 annually to be eligible.

Applicants who meet all the criteria will need the following documents and personal information for the state to verify:

- Social Security Number or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Mailing address, state of residence, parish of residence
- Email address and phone number
- 2018 or 2019 individual income tax return
- Pay stubs from March 22 to May 14 (must have worked at least 200 hours)
- Bank account info (optional for direct deposit)

"Other than that list of items right there, there is nothing else they need on hand to fill out the application,” Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs, Luke Morris, said.

Officials say that the entire application process should take roughly 10 to 15 minutes at the most. The goal is to get people their money 14 to 21 days after their application is complete.

"And if they don't want to receive direct deposit, they can receive a check in the mail,” Robinson said.

The department is specifically reserving $12.5 million of the $50 million dollars for paper applicants because they say the process typically takes longer for those applicants.

Morris also added the department may send follow-up letters to certain applicants that need to supply additional information to receive the $250 payment.

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