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Error messages received by unemployment applicant halts benefits

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BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Workforce Commission has paid out $604 million since coronavirus claims started on March 21, but some people continue to have problems accessing their unemployment benefits.

DeeDee Holmes applied for unemployment in the first week of April.

"I had no problem, but they asked me a lot of questions," she said.

Holmes is commissioned and a 1099 employee. She received her first unemployment payment no problem, but when she went back to complete her recertification the following week, she hit a roadblock.

"I went through all the pages and got an error message," she said.

The error message popped up on her screen with a long numerical ID. She called the Workforce Commission and was put in contact with someone there who tried to input her information. They also received an error message.

Holmes contacted 2 On Your Side Wednesday, who put her in touch with someone else at the LWC. That's when she learned that she's isn't the only one receiving error messages.

"She said there were about 17,000 people in Louisiana that are having issues, none of them like mine," Holmes said.

The LWC says error messages like the one Holmes received can come up for a number of reasons and couldn't comment on what Holmes was told over the phone by an LWC call center employee.

The LWC has been a 24-hour operation during the coronavirus crisis and says it will continue to be until every individual is helped. Since COVID-19 claims started, the LWC has paid out benefits to more than 300,000 Louisiana citizens.

"I’m not sure who that person was, what they said, what it was in reference to," LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie said.

Louisiana is one of only 10 states currently paying COVID-19-related federal benefits to workers who would not normally qualify under state guidelines.


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