How are my unemployment benefits going to be affected with the reopening of schools?

Posted on: September 18, 2020
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated 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.

Can I still receive my unemployment benefits if my child’s school is open, but is only providing virtual/online teaching?

  • If you are receiving your unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance fund you may still qualify for your benefits as long as you are the only person providing care for your child or children and caring for your children keeps you from working. A school or facility that is only offering online teaching or a virtual learning program is considered to be closed for the purposes of the CARES act.
  • If you are receiving unemployment benefits under another unemployment program, such as regular unemployment compensation, you may need to be switched to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in order to continue receiving your unemployment benefits.

Can I still receive my unemployment benefits while my child’s school is only offering virtual/ online teaching, but I am also teleworking at home?

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.

My child’s school is only open on certain days of the week and the rest of the days the school only offers virtual/online learning for my child (commonly known as the Hybrid Model).  Can I still receive my unemployment benefits?

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.

My child’s school is offering two options for my child’s school’s learning. The options are for them to attend school virtually full time or for them attend school in person full time. I have chosen for my child to attend school virtually full time. Can I still receive my benefits?  

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:

  • Your child’s school completely recloses all in-person learning options after attempting to physically reopen for the school year.
  • Your child or another member of your household has become sick with COVID-19 and you must care for them.
  • You have become sick with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms and are seeking medical attention.
  • You have been told to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 related concerns.
  • Other reasons may apply, but each case is different as LWC should review each claimant’s application individually based on their own circumstances.

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.



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