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Updates as of September 18, 2020
With schools reopening in different ways, unemployment claimants may no longer have to be home to ensure that their children are safe or can continue their education. Under regular unemployment compensation, claimants cannot continue to receive benefits if they are forced to stay home to care for their children. However, the federal Department of Labor has provided guidance to all unemployment agencies on how to work with this new issue for most unemployment claimants to continue receiving their benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
You may not continue receiving unemployment benefits if you are able to telework at home despite your child’s school only offering virtual/online learning.
The only exception to this rule is if your child’s virtual learning is affecting your ability to telework causing reduced hours or keeping you from teleworking all together. Any earnings you have made each week must be reported to the Louisiana Workforce Commission in your weekly claim certifications.
You may qualify for your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as long as you are the only person providing care for your child or children and such child care is required for you to continue working. A school or facility that is only offering a hybrid model of teaching is considered to be closed for the purposes of the CARES act.
However, you cannot receive any benefits if you are teleworking from home or you are receiving any form of paid leave from your former or current employer.
If your child’s school is giving you the option as to what method you want your child to attend and you have chosen for them to do virtual learning you cannot receive your unemployment benefits if that keeps you from being able and available to work.
Schools offering two options to parents are not considered to be closed for the purpose of the CARES Act and those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. There may be a few exceptions to this rule, but each case is different based on one’s individual circumstances.
Some exceptions to his rule may be:
If you have any concerns or are having problems with your unemployment benefits you can apply for our services at our webpage or click here for more information. You may also review the federal guidelines for more information by clicking here.
Current as of August 17, 2020
Schools across Louisiana have begun to re-open or are scheduled to start in a few weeks. Each parish has its own reopening plan, which may include in-person or virtual classes, or a mix of both. It is important to check the reopening plan for your parish. Information on the reopening plans for the parishes our office serves can be found here. Within the parish plan, many schools will be making their own decisions about many things that can affect students’ health. What the students are exposed to is likely to affect others they live with.
The issues below can also apply to daycare or after-school programs.
This is information only, NOT legal advice. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is not currently providing legal assistance on these issues. If you need legal advice, you should talk to an attorney. You may be able to get assistance from one of the organizations listed in this article.
Because of COVID-19, many common school activities are now unsafe. They may now spread the virus. Here are some things that can help spread the virus:
You can file a complaint directly with the Louisiana Department of Education by emailing email@example.com.
You can also call the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office to file a complaint for any unsafe conditions at 800-256- 5452. Other ways of reaching the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office can be found here.
Your local school board, local, parish or state health departments, or your city, parish or state government may also be able to help. If you don’t know where to report, you can contact your city or parish councilperson, or state representative, to explain your concern and find out where to report.
People of any age with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The list of these conditions can be found here.
If your child suffers from any of these conditions or has another documented disability, the following may be able to help:
Virtual learning will be safer for students. But it, too, has issues, including:
If your student is experiencing these or other issues with virtual learning, it is important that you communicate with their teacher and school, so that your child does not face any disciplinary action or other consequences.
If your child has special needs and is not receiving proper accommodations, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) may be able to provide legal assistance. SPLC can be reached at 504-486-8982.
Guides for talking to your children about the virus can be found here.
Free activity book for discussing Covid with young children can be found here.
The Louisiana Department of Education’s parent guide for virtual learning can be found here.
Free learning and activity resources can be found here.
The Louisiana Parent Training & Information Center (LPTIC) provides parents with information and training about supporting children with disabilities. LPTIC can also connect you with resources related to assisting children with disabilities during virtual learning. You can contact the Center by calling 800-766-7736 or 504-888-9111 or find a list of resources and activities here. Additional resources for supporting children with special needs can be found here.
Current as of August 17, 2020
Schools across Louisiana have begun to re-open or are scheduled to start in a few weeks. Each parish has its own reopening plan, which may include in-person or virtual classes, or a mix of both. It is important to check the reopening plan for your parish. Information on the reopening plans for the parishes Southeast Louisiana Legal Services serves can be found by checking the links listed below.