Employment has been severely impacted since the unwelcomed arrival of COVID-19. Thousands of Louisiana citizens are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment is a concern as many people wait to receive their benefits.
Unemployed individuals aren’t the only ones struggling. The LWC is struggling too as they try to pay everyone who has applied for financial relief. Since the start of the worldwide pandemic, they have sent over $560 Million to citizens and that’s not the end of the amount they need to send.
In addition to that, on April 13, Louisiana decided to offer Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to 1099 and self-employed individuals of $600 per week. This has opened up even more cases to be handled by the LWC.
Ava Dejoie, the LWC Secretary says “We are continuing to work around the clock to make sure each and every citizen receive all benefits for which they are eligible.”
Unfortunately, many people are struggling to get their claim into the LWC. The online portal has struggled to keep up with the claims coming into it, which has caused a lot of frustration. This has prompted the LWC to only allow individuals with certain last two numbers of their social security numbers to submit a claim on specific days. For instance, Sundays are for people with 0-3, Mondays are for people with 4-6, and Tuesdays for people 7-9. Wednesday and Saturday (their two slowest days) are open to everyone.
The state is also going to add another server to be able to handle the influx of individuals applying for benefits. The LWC already upgraded their system before the benefits took effect, but they didn’t anticipate there would be so many people using it, so they need more.
The good news is no matter when people receive their benefits, everyone will receive payment retroactively to April 4.