Why Your Unemployment Benefits May Be Ending SoonPosted on: May 24, 2021
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.
The state may drop pandemic unemployment benefits.
At least 25 states have decided to stop paying the federal unemployment that has helped millions of American workers during the pandemic. This includes $300 a week that is currently being added to unemployment checks. It also can include “PUA”—the benefits for workers who are not usually eligible for unemployment benefits (like people whose earnings are not reported on W2, people with little work history, and people caring for children due to Covid closures).
These programs may end for everyone September 6. Governor Edwards has said he will likely end these programs in Louisiana on July 31.
There are also other reasons why your unemployment benefits may end.
Your unemployment benefits may end if you are offered a job, but refuse it.
You can lose unemployment benefits if you do not have a very good reason for refusing to accept work when it is offered to you, whether it is your old job or a new one.
If your employer calls you to return to work and you refuse, they can report you to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The agency makes this easy for employers to do. This may disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. You may also have to pay back any benefits you received in the time after you refused to return to work.
You can appeal and seek representation from Southeast Louisiana if the work offer does not pay close to what you recently earned or is otherwise not “suitable” for you given your background. Call our Covid-19 Helpline at 1-844-244-7871 to apply for free legal assistance or fill out our online application here.
A job should be considered not suitable if it is not following Covid-related health and safety requirements, such as social distancing or not requiring those who may have Covid to stay home.
Your unemployment benefits may end if the Louisiana Workforce Commission determines you are and always have been ineligible for benefits.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is going back on hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of people’s unemployment claims and determining they have always been ineligible for benefits and should not have been awarded any. In these cases, the agency is also requiring claimants to pay back all of the money they received—usually over $10,000.
The agency should not cut off your benefits without sending you a notice (a letter sent to your HIRE account or hardcopy letter to the address you have on file) and without offering you a hearing.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services can often help on these cases, but it can take several months to get these issues corrected. You can apply for free legal assistance by calling our Covid-19 Helpline at 1-844-244-7871 or by filling out an online application here.
In the meantime, you can appeal any decision that you should not get unemployment or that you have been “overpaid.” Appeal right away to protect your rights! You only have 15 days form an agency notice to submit your appeal. Your notice will include the date you must submit your appeal by. If you miss the deadline, you will lose your right to appeal.
The letter will provide instructions on how to appeal. You can find more information on appeals here.
The hearing on your appeal may be months away.
If your unemployment benefits were stopped, SLLS may be able to help, even before the hearing. Call our Covid-19 Helpline at 1-844-244-7871 to apply for free legal assistance or fill out our online application here.
*Please note, our services are only available for residents of the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana