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Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security CARES Act, federal funding is provided for unemployment benefits for workers adversely impacted by COVID- 19. Employees that are not eligible for state provided unemployment benefits or have otherwise exhausted such unemployment benefits will be eligible to receive the same amount of assistance that is provided under the state’s unemployment benefits program for the period beginning on January 27, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020.

How long do these unemployment benefits last?

Employees will be eligible to receive an additional $600 per week for up to 4 months, whether such employees are eligible for state provided unemployment benefits or they are receiving the unemployment benefits set forth above.

If employees remain unemployed after their state employment benefits are exhausted, the federal government will fund up to 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.

Who is eligible for unemployment benefits?

As long as your unemployment is connected to the coronavirus outbreak, unemployed individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits. This includes part-time employees, freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers, and the self-employed.

How much are the unemployment benefits worth?

The federal government, per the CARES Act, will provide $600 a week to eligible individuals. The federal assistance will complement existing state unemployment benefits, which typically cover a percentage of an unemployed individual’s previous salary.

How long do these unemployment benefits last?

  • 4 months – July 31, 2020: Under the CARES Act, the federal government’s $600 weekly payout tounemployed workers will last for a period of up to four months through July 31.
  • Extended Benefits: The CARES Act includes 13 more weeks for Louisiana UI recipients throughDecember 31, 2020. In Louisiana, the maximum number of weeks that you can receive unemployment benefits is 26 weeks per 12-month period. The maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount in Louisiana is $247 a week.
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What if the job I lost because of the coronavirus is a recently started one?

For those who lost jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and wouldn’t usually qualify for unemployment benefits because the insufficient work history, the CARES Act effectively waives such work history requirements and allows those workers to receive unemployment benefits.


If you are eligible for Ryan White services, your employment status has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and you have been denied unemployment benefits and need help, please let your case manager know and ask for a referral to CrescentCare Legal Services for free legal help.

This document is written for general informational purposes and is not intended to offer legal advice for any individual situation. Information is current as of March 30, 2020.