Nearly 200,000 jobless Louisianans could miss out on an additional $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit because Louisiana does not have enough money to pay its share of the cost according to Governor John Bel Edwards. President Trump extended federal unemployment aid to states through an executive order Saturday, Aug. 8 after Congress failed to reach a compromise on another coronavirus relief bill. An additional $600 weekly benefit expired at the end of July. Edwards and other governors believe Trump’s plan requires states to cover 25% of the cost. Louisiana would have to come up with $100 for every unemployed person to unlock the additional $400 federal package.
Edwards says he is considering reducing the benefit the state offers by $100 and redirecting those savings to cover the costs. That means a Louisianan receiving the maximum federally-boosted benefit would take home $547 each week instead of $647, which is still more than the $247 currently provided. Louisiana’s unemployment fund is worth roughly $253 million as of Aug. 11, down from $1.1 billion at the beginning of March.