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Unemployment emails continue to roll in, no update from LWC Tuesday

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Tuesday, January 19 2021 Jan 19, 2021 January 19, 2021 6:58 PM January 19, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Tuesday, 2 On Your Side heard back from a handful of people who said their unemployment claim has been resolved. But for every one person who says their claim is resolved, there are dozens more who write in asking for help.

Following the holiday weekend, 2 On Your Side asked for more updates to the situation that has thousands of Louisiana claimants waiting to hear back about their unemployment benefits.

"I'm struggling, I'm raising three of my grandkids and I'm struggling," Catherine Noel of Breaux Bridge said. "It's been five weeks ma'am. I didn't get nothing, and I have no income."

Noel and her daughter Alaya Frederick are both out of work due to the pandemic. They haven't heard back about their unemployment benefits for weeks.

"You cannot get through to the unemployment if you call them," Frederick said.

The emails continue to flood the 2 On Your Side inbox. Claimants share their story explaining their inability to pay bills and their fear of being evicted. Pamela Kennedy of Metairie sent one too.

"I call from sun up to sundown," she said. "One lady said that she was not in Louisiana, she was in Atlanta and had to put me on hold and she would transfer me to the benefit analysis team. Nobody answered."

Kennedy has been a teacher for the last two decades. She was laid off from a private school in Metairie last year when the school closed its doors due to the pandemic. Now she's struggling to pay her bills.

"I am behind, I owe Entergy, I owe my phone service carrier, I owe everybody," said Kennedy.

Last week, the Louisiana Workforce Commission told 2 On Your Side that 40,000 new claimants received benefits. LWC says case numbers change hourly due to varying factors. But like Kennedy, there are still a lot of old claimants waiting for help.

Tuesday, 2 On Your Side asked for an update to the backlog of claimants waiting to hear back from an unemployment representative. LWC told 2 On Your Side that their schedules were busy and they wouldn't be available for an update until Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Governor's office says that Gov. Edwards understands the frustrations that many people have and wants them to receive their benefits as soon as possible. The governor receives updates from LWC and has been assured that the agency is doing all it can to respond to the high call volume. The spokesperson also says that each case is different and has to be reviewed, and sometimes the process can be complex given that there are both state and federal programs that could be involved.

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