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Louisiana's unemployed, self-employed workers begin receiving payments

1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago Monday, April 13 2020 Apr 13, 2020 April 13, 2020 3:17 PM April 13, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- As of 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, Louisiana Workforce Commission made a one-day payment of $89,743,697 to Louisianans who have lost their jobs or had reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement.

In addition to today’s $89-million, the LWC has paid $54,251,513 in the last three weeks.

The State Unemployment Trust Fund paid $21,346,250.49 to Louisiana unemployment insurance claims.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation spent $66,605,561.16 ($600 per individual/per week).

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance spent $1,791,866.08 ($107-$247 per individual/per week).

Today’s disbursement means that in the past 5 weeks, LWC has sent a total of $146 million to Louisianans since March 23, 2020.

“When I informed Governor Edwards the commission received $86 million in CARES Act money just last week, without hesitation, he directed me to get the funds to Louisianans starting today," said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “As with everything related to COVID-19, this was a first-of-its-kind task, involving a staggering number of people. But we recognize the urgency of getting people the assistance they need."

Last week, the Secretary reached out to the vendor that manages disbursement to ensure that both W-2 residents and self-employed people would receive the federal funds on the same schedule.

The most recent federal guidance requires self-employed, 1099 workers answer an additional set of questions before receiving their money. But Dejoie insisted that self-employed, gig and 1099 workers be paid starting today, and that they be required to complete the additional request after they received the initial funds.

“This pandemic doesn’t discriminate. Self-employed workers are just as concerned about paying for necessities: rent, mortgage, utilities and such, as everyone else. Delaying their payments was simply unacceptable," Dejoie said.

For claimants to continue to receive payments, they must recertify every week. Recertification is similar to filing a weekly timesheet. Individuals must recertify each week before Saturday, 11:59pm, to update their job status, and inform the state if they remain unemployed and require additional funds.

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