I have exhausted all of my unemployment benefits. What do I do now?

Posted on: September 18, 2020

Updated September 18, 2020.

If you have received a letter from the Louisiana Workforce Commission saying that your unemployment benefits will end soon or that your benefits have ended, you MAY be eligible for an extension of benefits.

How do I know if my unemployment benefits are going to end soon?

You may have received a notice through your HIRE account or to your email address stating that you are “approaching the maximum payable amount for your benefit year.” This notice states that you should check your claim balance under your claim summary.

This is because Claimants are only allowed to receive benefits for a specific period of time. The length of time will depend on what unemployment compensation program you are under.

  • If you are receiving benefits under regular unemployment compensation you may only receive unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks. Once you have received your benefits for 26 weeks, you will stop receiving payments from LWC.
  • If you are receiving benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) you may only receive benefits up to 39 weeks. People who are already under this program have not exhausted their unemployment benefits since this program runs to December 26, 2020

What if I did not receive a notice, but my unemployment benefits have stopped?

There may be other problems with your unemployment account. To check if you have used up all your benefits, you should log into to your HIRE account and follow these steps:

  • First: Once you have logged in, you will need to click the “Menu” button at the top right corner of your page. You will then see a list of 5 Click on the one that says “Services for Individuals.”
  • Second: You should now see another list of 14 You will need to click on the option, “Unemployment Services,” and you will be given another list of options.
  • Third: You will now need to scroll down until you see the option named, “Claim Summary,” where you will be taken to a new page.
  • Fourth: Once you are on the new page, you need to scroll down where it says “Claim Details,” There you will find different information about your account. Under “Claim Benefit Balance,” you will know the amount of funds you still have for your unemployment benefits.

Is there any way that I can reapply for unemployment benefits?

You cannot refile for unemployment benefits until your benefit claim year ends. This is different for each claimant.

Is there another way for me to receive unemployment benefits?

Yes. You may qualify for an extension of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. If you qualify, you may continue to receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks. This benefit is available through December 31, 2020.

How do I know if I am eligible for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation?

Individuals must have used up all 26 weeks of their available benefits with a benefit year ending on or after July 1, 2019. In addition, you must not have rights to any state or federal unemployment compensation and must be available and actively searching for work.

People on “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” already qualify for up to 39 weeks of benefits. So they do not get Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. If you are on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance your notices say this.

Some people are not required to do work searches. For more information about work searches click here.

How do I apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation?

As soon as you see that your “Claim Benefit Balance” has a zero balance you will need to refile for your benefits. However, you will not be allowed to refile until the following SUNDAY of the last week you receive a weekly benefit amount. The system will not allow you to refile earlier. You may refile for benefits through your HIRE account by following these steps:

  • First: You must login into your HIRE account.
  • Second: Once you have logged in, you will need to click the “Menu” button at the top right corner of your page. You will then see a list of 5 Click on the one that says “Services for Individuals.”
  • Third: You should now see another list of 14 You will need to click on the option, “Unemployment Services,” and you will be given another list of options.
  • Fourth: You will now need to scroll down until you see the option named, “File a Claim,” where you will be taken to a new page.
  • Fifth: Once you have refiled you should receive a “monetary determination” notice and a notice of eligibility for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

If you refile and do not receive any information about your application for extended benefits SLLS can assist you with this process if eligible for our services. You can apply for our services at our webpage or click here for more information.

How much may I receive for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation?

This amount may vary depending on your situation and wage history. People who may qualify for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will receive the same weekly benefit amount that would have under their original 26 weeks of unemployment compensation ($10 to $247).

What happens after I have exhausted my Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation?

If you have reached the maximum amount of benefits for your regular unemployment compensation and your Pandemic Emergency Unemployment compensation, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if your unemployment has been affected by COVID-19.

These are some examples of COVID-19 related reasons:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis;
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • You are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has COVID-19;
  • A child or other person in the household for which you are responsible for is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work;
  • You are unable to reach your job because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • You cannot reach your job because you have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
  • You were scheduled to commence employment and do not have a job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19;
  • You have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19, and/or
  • Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Other reasons related to COVID-19 may be recognized by the Agency depending on the facts revolving your situation.

Those who are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are allowed to receive benefits for up to 39 weeks.  Once you have received benefits for 39 weeks, you will stop receiving payments. Though if you have already received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits you may not qualify again.

Again if you are having problems and need legal assistance, you can apply for our services at our webpage or click here for more information.

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