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A Guide To $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits In Louisiana

Updated : September 14th, 2020

Louisiana is one of the states that have begun paying out $300 additional weekly benefits. The extra payments are provided to help the unemployed to meet their basic needs during the crisis. However, unlike $600, not everyone is eligible for the new enhanced payments. So who qualifies for $300 extra unemployment benefits in Louisiana? 

In this article, we will walk through the eligibility requirements that you must meet to receive the $300 extra benefits. 

When Did The State Began Paying The Additional Benefits?

The state began paying $300 weekly benefits on August 26, 2020 under the FEMA’s Lost Wage Assistance program. It released payments for weeks that ended on August 1, August 8, August 15, and August 22.

Who Can Receive The $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits In Louisiana?

To be eligible for the additional weekly payments, you should receive a minimum of $100 benefits through any of the following programs. 

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Self-Employment Assistance (SEA)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)

Note – If you are receiving payments under Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), you won’t qualify for the enhanced benefits. 

Besides receiving minimum benefits, the state also requires you to certify that you lost your job due to the direct results of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

How Does The State Determine If You Have Lost Your Job Due To The Pandemic?

The state determines if you are unemployed due to the Coronavirus pandemic by considering the following factors. 

  1. You have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 or are experiencing its symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis. 
  2. Your family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  3. You are caring for a family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  4. You are unable to reach your workplace due to strict measures enforced as a direct result of COVID-19.
  5. You are unable to reach your workplace because you have been instructed to self-quarantine as you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  6. Your company has shut down due to COVID-19. 
  7. Your type of work has been impacted due to COVID-19. For instance, you are an artist and are unable to perform as venues were closed due to COVID-19.
  8. A child whom you are caring for is unable to go to a care facility or school because they are closed. This includes school that: 
    • Are into virtual learning/online teaching
    • Follow a hybrid model. That is, the school is only open on a few days of the week

Does The State Require Any Proof Of Unemployment Due To The Pandemic?

Though the proof is not required for you to be found eligible for the additional benefits, any documents or other form of evidence may be helpful. In most cases self-certification is enough to prove your unemployment reason.

Should You Apply For $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits In Louisiana?

If you are currently receiving benefits through any of the unemployment benefits program, you need not reapply for the additional benefits. The Commission will provide you with extra benefits using the same details.

How Long Will It Take For You To Receive Benefits?

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, it would take an estimated 24-48 for the money to show up in bank accounts. Note that the payment will not show up in your Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE) dashboard but you should check your personal account to determine if you have received your payments. 

What To Do If Your Additional Benefits Are Denied? 

You can file an unemployment appeal if your benefits are denied for monetary or non monetary reasons. But note that you have to apply an appeal within 15 calendar days from the mailing date of the Notice of Determination. In case you appeal after 15 days, the concerned authorities will require you to provide an explanation. 

You can file an appeal through the following methods. 

  1. Appeal online through the HiRE website.
  2. Fax an appeal to (225) 342-4223.
  3. Email clerkappeal@lwc.la.gov to file.
  4. Mail to the Appeals Unit. (Louisiana Workforce Commission, Appeals Unit, P.O. Box 94094, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9094.) 

The concerned authorities will review your appeal and notify you of a date and time of a hearing. Note that the hearing can take place over a telephone or face-to-face. Therefore, it is important that you provide the Commission with your phone number so that they can reach you at least one day before the hearing. 

If you have changed your phone number post filing an appeal, you can update it through HiRE website or by calling the Claim Center at 1-866-783-5567.

The state has multiple levels of appeal process. The first level of hearing will be scheduled before the Appeals Tribunal’s Administrative Law Judge. If you are unhappy with the Tribunal’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Board of Review. 

If you agree with the Board’s decision, you can appeal to the Judicial District Court.

Note 

  1. You need not pay any fee to appeal to the Board of Review or Appeals Tribunal.
  2. Continue to apply for benefits during the appeal process. If you win the appeal, you will receive benefits for the eligible weeks. 

How Long Will The Benefits Be Available?

Though the $300 weekly benefits is said to be available until December 27, 2020, it may end sooner if the funds allotted for the program exhausts. 

Closing Thoughts 

The Louisiana Workforce Commission has indicated that all the qualified applicants will receive the $300 additional weekly benefits, provided they have certified the unemployment was due to the pandemic. If you haven’t certified in your initial claims, quickly accredit, reapply for UI benefits and get additional payments.  

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