Unemployed workers received their latest $300 payment from the federal government on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Workforce Commission said.
Jobless workers had wondered why they hadn’t received the federal money on Monday, in a program known as “Lost Wage Assistance," or LWA. It goes to people who are jobless because of the coronavirus.
The latest federal payment covers the week that ended on Aug. 22.
“We are only able to pay funds once we have been approved and have received them from FEMA,” said A.J. Sabine, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, called LWC.
He said it was too early to know how many people were sent the $300 payments on Tuesday. The money might take 24-48 hours to show up in bank accounts.
“These payments will NOT post in a claimants’ HIRE dashboard,” Sabine wrote in an email. “Individuals should check their bank accounts to see when they are paid.”
“There is no designated ‘day’ when eligible claimants should expect the LWA payment,” Sabine added. “The LWC will process payments as quickly as possible once we have been approved and received funding from FEMA.”
Last week, the agency sent payments to more than 350,000 people. Many of those people received three weeks of payments dating to Aug. 1, the start of the new benefits program, or $900, on top of the weekly benefit they receive from the state.
The state is sending out its weekly payment, which is a maximum of $247, on a separate schedule from the federal payments.
Through Aug. 31, the state had paid out $279 million in federal money under the Lost Wage Assistance program.
The Workforce Commission is requesting FEMA funding for people who filed claims for the week of Aug. 29.
The checks are the result of President Trump’s decision to take up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide enhanced federal unemployment benefits for five or six weeks, with Democrats and Republicans stymied in Washington over how to replace the $600 weekly federal payments that expired on July 31.
Jobless workers have to receive at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits to qualify for the temporary $300 weekly payments.
Clay Addison, 34, is among the unemployed workers who need the money.
He had spent the past nine years working for an oil services company out of Bossier City when he was laid off in February.
He and his wife, a registered nurse, have four children and are caring for his parents. They all had to quarantine for 28 days after first Addison's wife and then their son fell ill with the virus.
Addison noted that he had never collected unemployment benefits before and said of the $300 weekly payment, "Right now, it's a lifeline."