CARES Act, other federal and state funds disbursed to assist residents during pandemic

This week, many W-2 employees along with gig workers began to see Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) as well Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments.

Unemployed workers should see the funds in their bank accounts or on direct deposit cards within three days.

As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 13, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) made a one-day payment of more than $89.7 million to Louisianans who have lost their jobs or had reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Monday’s disbursement, LWC has sent a total of $146 million to Louisianans since March 23. In addition to today’s $89 million, the LWC has paid more than $54 million in the last three weeks.

 “When I informed Governor Edwards the commission received $86 million in CARES Act money just last week, without hesitation, he directed me to get the funds to Louisianans starting today,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “As with everything related to COVID-19, this was a first-of-its-kind task, involving a staggering number of people. But we recognize the urgency of getting people the assistance they need.”

The most recent federal guidance requires self-employed, 1099 workers to answer an additional set of questions before receiving their money. However, the LWC decided to pay those workers  starting today. They will be required to complete the additional request after they received the initial funds.

Both W-2 residents and self-employed people will receive the federal funds on the same schedule, according to a LWC press release. 

“This pandemic doesn’t discriminate. Self-employed workers are just as concerned about paying for basic necessities: rent, mortgage, utilities and such, as everyone else. Delaying their payments was simply unacceptable,” Dejoie said. 

In order for claimants to continue to receive payments, they must recertify every week.  Recertification is similar to filing a weekly timesheet. Individuals must recertify each week before Saturday, 11:59 p.m., to update their job status, and inform the state if they remain unemployed and require additional funds.

In addition to more than $21.3 million from the state’s unemployment trust fund, the $89.7 paid out today $66.6 million in FPUC, which provides the $600 weekly payment in federal funds to UI claimants and another $1.79 million in PUA, a program through which 1099 workers will be paid between $107 and $247 per person per week.

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