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Tightened unemployment checks could start ‘early’ next week after state receives funds | Coronavirus

Louisiana received its first $375 million in funds for an unconventional unemployment system that will give more than 400,000 laid-off workers in Louisiana an extra $300 check each week.

Now it’s up to the state to reprogram its computers to be able to pay out the money.

$300 unemployment checks could start rolling in next week, but those 87,000 people may not qualify

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday he expects controls to begin rolling out next week. And while he hasn’t committed, he said he hopes it will be early next week.

“I can commit for next week,” Edwards said. “What I want to believe is that they will start early next week.”

The $375 million will pay benefits dating back to August 1, and the state expects the federal government to continue providing funds until the pot of federal disaster funds paying for the program runs out. Edwards said it would likely be around six weeks.

Unemployment in Louisiana: See who qualifies for an additional $300 benefit; next steps for disbursement, plus

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The Louisiana Workforce Commission is responsible for distributing the funds. The agency was plagued with problems this spring when historic numbers of people flooded the unemployment system and the federal government gave states an additional $600 per week per worker. Workers at the time described waiting weeks or more for their benefits and being unable to reach department workers.

These benefits of $600 per week expired at the end of July. Jobless workers here must now rely on state unemployment benefits, which are among the meager in the United States at a maximum of $247 a week.

Tens of thousands of people are even earning less than $100 a week, and those people won’t even be eligible for the new $300 a week benefit, which is the result of an executive order from President Donald Trump. About 67,000 unemployed workers will not qualify for the new benefits and another 20,000 may not qualify but will be able to reapply.

The governor urged Congress to come to the negotiating table to reach a new unemployment deal to provide another round of unemployment relief that does not exclude tens of thousands of workers in Louisiana.

Labor Commission spokesman AJ Sabine also confirmed this week that as long as people have a weekly state benefit amount of at least $100, they are eligible for the 300 extra $ – even if they receive less than $100 in a given week because they report certain earnings from a job.

All recipients of unemployment benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits to gig and self-employed workers who are not normally eligible for benefits, are eligible for the additional $300 weekly check, added Sabine.

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