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Louisiana expands unemployment access for federal workers

January 25, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is expanding unemployment eligibility to cover federal employees working without pay during the partial government shutdown, such as Transportation Security Administration employees and Coast Guard members, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Friday.

Those 1,500 federal workers in Louisiana who are working but not getting paid would normally not be able to seek unemployment. But the Democratic governor said he directed the state’s labor department to allow their applications, describing the workers in a statement as “crucial to our state’s safety and welfare.”

“These individuals deserve every bit of our support during this difficult time,” Edwards said.

The workers can begin the application process immediately at www.LAWorks.net .

The governor’s office said Louisiana is joining Colorado, California, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in allowing unemployment benefits to be paid to all federal government workers not getting paid, including those still working.

Louisiana has about 6,000 federal workers, and 427 have applied for unemployment benefits so far, according to Edwards’ office. The maximum amount a worker can receive in unemployment is $247 a week, and the benefits can last up to 26 weeks.

All unemployment must be reimbursed when federal workers receive back wages.

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. government shutdown: https://apnews.com/GovernmentShutdown

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