Additional $300 in unemployment benefits could be paid to La. residents as soon as week of Aug. 24

Gov. Edwards updates state on COVID-19 response

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards announced during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 18 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the State of Louisiana’s plan to pay for additional unemployment benefits, mandated by President Donald Trump’s executive order, by drawing from the agency’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Edwards says the state will receive the money from FEMA by the end of this week and he anticipates the Louisiana Workforce Commission will begin making the additional $300 in unemployment benefits to residents sometime during the week of Aug 24 to Aug. 28.

The additional benefits will be retroactive to Aug. 1.

Edwards said due to new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, “unfortunately not all people currently on unemployment in Louisiana” will receive the additional benefits.

About 67,000 unemployed workers who were receiving less than $100 in benefits will not qualify for the additional unemployment benefits under the federal guidelines, according to Edwards.

The governor said about 20,000 unemployed workers who indicated their work separation was not related to the COVID-19 pandemic will have to reapply for the additional unemployment benefits. He said most of those individuals will likely qualify for the benefits.

About 417,000 residents currently on unemployment will qualify for the additional $300 in unemployment benefits, he said.

Edwards called on both the U.S. House and the Senate to work together to pass a bill that would provide a permanent fix to the nation’s unemployment crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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