Unemployment site down until Wednesday; LWC updating system
BATON ROUGE - There's more trouble for people on unemployment, with some complaining they've been locked out of accessing their accounts online since Saturday.
Every week, people collecting unemployment benefits must file their claim and provide proof that they are actively looking for work. This ensures that they remain eligible for unemployment benefits. This weekend claimants started to notice they were unable to do so.
"It says it's under construction," Cynthia Groover said. "I tried to claim on the phone. I can't claim on the phone. I can't do anything and my claim date was yesterday."
Instead of filing their claims, here's what people see online:
"The site is currently unavailable while the Louisiana Workforce Commission updates the Unemployment Insurance provisions for the American Rescue Plan. Once complete, all services will be available including the ability to file for your weekly certification for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Unemployment Insurance payments will be processed following your weekly certification (next day) before the end of the week. The Call Center will be unavailable during this time as well."
April Butler had the same experience Sunday.
"I was thinking it would be back up by midnight and it wasn't," she said.
Monday, 2 On Your Side reached out to the Louisiana Workforce Commission about what's happening and the following statement was provided.
LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie said that the American Rescue Plan signed into law on March 11, 2021, will extend federal UI benefits until September 6, 2021. With only two days between the bill being signed into law and claimants' filing for the week ending March 13, additional programming and implementation time was needed. Claimants will be able to file this week, and payments will process this week.
We expect the system to be fully functional no later than noon on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. The 72 hours needed for programming and testing will improve system functionality and claims processing.
All claimants have until Saturday at 11:59 p.m. to complete weekly certifications. Claimants concerned about filing based on their SSN are reminded that all numbers are accepted Wednesday through Saturday.