Do we or don't we? That seems to be the question that many unemployed Louisiana residents are asking state and federal leaders when it comes to unemployment benefits issued as part of the coronavirus economic recovery plan.

Earlier this month it was announced that the federal government would kick in an additional $300 weekly benefit for those who are unemployed and meet certain requirements. Shortly after that announcement Governor John Bel Edwards said that all of the state's unemployed would qualify for that extra benefit but apparently things have changed.

The Governor is now saying the Trump Administration has now reversed an earlier decision about who qualifies for the federal benefit and who does not. Speculation is that about 67,000, or more, of Louisiana's 450,000 unemployed would not meet the criteria to get the additional $300 in federal money plus another $100 from the state.

Governor Edwards addressed the confusion in comments reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.

That guidance has actually changed over time and it has changed two or three times in the last week, but we do believe that guidance is final now

The Governor was quick to add that it was not the state of Louisiana's decision to exclude the 67,000 from the benefits. That decision was made at the federal level at the Department of Labor.

Those who do qualify for the additional benefits can expect to see that money perhaps as early as August 24th. However, there are no guarantees on the exact timeline as state officials expect to receive the money from FEMA later this week. They will then work to disperse the money as soon as possible. The FEMA benefits are expected to last six weeks at the most.


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