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Getting Answers: Update on the federal unemployment supplement

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Posted at 6:01 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 21:54:17-04

We've had a lot of questions lately from Louisiana residents who are concerned about the "extra" unemployment coming from the federal government.

Initially, out of work citizens got an extra $600 per week in unemployment, funded by the first stimulus package. But so far the Senate hasn't approved a second stimulus package, and those benefits ran out. President Donald Trump signed an executive order issuing a smaller supplement for a short period of time, funded with FEMA dollars.

That money was received by the state last week, the Governor said. But today some claimants didn't see that benefit, and they've been calling and messaging us to ask about it.

When we reached out to state officials, here's the information we received:

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has advised Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) claimants that weekly benefit payments will not likely appear on their HiRE dashboard. LWA is a funded via FEMA and is not processed in the same manner as other UI benefits.

To clarify, the LWC offers these helpful tips:
· There has been no delay in getting payments out to impacted claimants.
· LWC is only able to pay funds once we have been approved and have received them from FEMA.
· According to the LWA program, there is no specific “day” when eligible claimants should expect the LWA payment.
· The LWC will process payments as quickly as possible once we have been approved and received funding from FEMA.
· For week ending August 22 we began processing 8/31/20 and continue to process those payments today (9/1/20).
· For a reference however, we have paid out approximately $361,218,480.00 as of September 1, 2020 in LWA payments.

Initially, on August 27, 2020, the LWC paid over several days for the weeks ending retroactive to August 1, 2020.

On Sunday, August 30, 2020, the LWC did have internet connectivity issues because of a nationwide internet outage.

More than 350,000 claims have been paid so far, but it takes time for the payments to get to individual claimaints. More than one-million transactions between multiple computer systems and bank partners were involved in the first payments.

• Claimants are encouraged to remain patient as payments are delivered via their individual financial institutions which may vary according to their policy. Payments may take up to 24-48 hours to appear in their account.

• The LWC reminds claimants that in order to keep online-traffic running smoothly, most retroactive payment will not be visible in their HiRE summary, LWC reminds claimants to please check with their banks for deposits.