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Louisiana Workforce Commission working to address computer glitches as it issues checks
BATON ROUGE - Though a number of Louisianians who'd lost their jobs due to the pandemic received a check from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, on Tuesday quite a few of them took to social media to complain they'd only received $600, which was half of what they've been expecting.
According to The Advocate, Robert Wooley, the assistant secretary for unemployment benefits and a former state insurance commissioner says the agency is aware of the issue and in the process of addressing it.
“We’re looking at those and trying to figure out what may or may not have happened,” Wooley said. “They will get everything they’re entitled to.”
The state agency began sending out the extra $600 payments Monday as part of a federal stimulus and relief package aimed at stimulating the economy.
The agency sent $89 million to jobless workers Monday in state and federal benefits and another $69 million Tuesday, Wooley said.
Every jobless worker who qualified for unemployment insurance two weeks ago is eligible for two $600 payments in addition to the state weekly payment of up to $247, according to the Workforce Commission.
Wooley asked for patience from the many frustrated laid-off workers and explained that on Tuesday, the surge of unemployment claims continued to clog the Workforce Commission’s computer system.
“It’s still slow, but it’s not as slow as yesterday,” Wooley said. “As we move through the process, it will get better.”
More than 10,000 people have been filing unemployment claims a day, 30 times the pre-coronavirus average of about 300.
At the same time, jobless workers who have already qualified are logging on to file a required weekly recertification of benefits – which begins each Sunday but can take place throughout the week.
Still others are logging on to see whether they have received the $600 payment, and while all that is going on, the agency is sending out payment orders to banks for thousands and thousands of jobless workers.
Wooley said the Workforce Commission’s computer systems have been overwhelmed.
The agency is obtaining another server to increase capacity, something it has already done twice, he said.
“We care,” Wooley said. “These are our fellow citizens. We’re doing everything we can. We’re all using the same platform. Our employees can’t do more because everything else is slowing the system down. The system is slow for everybody.”
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