BATON ROUGE – On December 27, 2020, a federal COVID-19 relief package that extends and provides additional federal unemployment benefits was signed into law. The new bill provides an additional $300 to eligible claimants’ weekly benefit amount. The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) before fully implementing the changes and issuing payments.
Under the CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs expired the week ending December 26, 2020.
The new relief package provides weekly benefits from the end of the CARES Act (Dec. 26, 2020) funding to the beginning of the new COVID relief funding (Dec. 27, 2020). The USDOL has informed the LWC that eligible claimants will not lose a week of benefits for the week of December 27, 2020. However, LWC can only issue those payments once the agency receives funding from the new relief package.
If you currently have an unemployment claim, LWC is diligently updating all active unemployment claims to changeover to the new COVID relief package. Please continue to file for weekly benefits if you are still currently unemployed or under-employed.
“Although President Trump has signed another relief package, the pandemic continues to have a dire impact on the health and employment of Louisiana families,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “In preparation of action from the federal government, our agency has put measures in place to start processing extended benefits. After receiving official guidance from the USDOL, we will work swiftly to administer these system changes.”
It is unlikely that USDOL will issue guidance before January 2021. LWC will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Since March, LWC has paid out nearly $7 billion to some 700,000 individual claims.
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees, and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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