La. residents can apply for extension of unemployment benefits

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:37 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana residents who are still unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to extend their benefits, according to Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Secretary Ava Dejoie.

Dejoie says unemployed residents can apply for Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensations (PEUC) or other programs.

The extended benefits will last through the end of the year, according to Dejoie.

Unemployed residents can apply for PEUC and other programs on the LWC’s website by clicking here.

Even though the State of Louisiana is in Phase 3, many are still out of work and living off unemployment benefits. Donna Lewis has been a DJ for over 30 years and has not been able to work for several months.

“I went on my unemployment in April and I have not been able to find a job. I have to look for certain work because of the twins and it’s not working out very well, so I am relying on this unemployment to help," Lewis said.

Recently, Lewis, like many others, began receiving notices from LWC saying their unemployment benefits were exhausted, and many weren’t exactly sure what to do next. However, Lewis found an easier route in which she could extend her unemployment benefits.

“It’s very hard to reach them though. I’ve had a lot of people tell me, ‘I have called the unemployment office and cannot get through,’ and that’s where I direct them to go online instead because it’s a simpler process to go online,” said Lewis.

The LWC recommends if you want to apply for unemployment benefits or extend them, you should go online and check out their HIRE program. There, you can set up an account and be directed to unemployment benefits or job openings for which you can apply.

“You can do it online 24 hours a day, you can do it from your phone, you can do it from your computer, so the absolute best place is to do it online. It’s going to be a lot faster and it will also prompt you through the system, so it allows our system to know which benefits you are eligible for,” said Dejoie.

There are certain unemployment extensions that will last for a number of weeks. Normally, when one extension plan ends, you will have to fill out another application in order to be considered for the next program.

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