The Louisiana Workforce Commission has given the green light to eligibility for gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to apply for unemployment assistance.  LWC executive director Ava Dejoie says if someone has recently applied and been denied, for being a 1099 employee, waiter or waitress, or rideshare driver, eligibility will be retroactive.

“That would now make you eligible for what is called PUA in the alphabet soup, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  It will be retroactive to the date of your filing,” said Dejoie.

Dejoie says the funds aren’t available to pay out to applicants yet as LWC has not received the money from the feds.

“We will make that announcement once we are able to pay those claims and regardless of when the actual filing occured, as it will be based on the date on which you were no longer working,” said Dejoie.

Dejoie says there is no rush for filing as the payments will be retroactive to when employment was halted.

“Certainly we want everybody to apply.  We want everyone to get into the system but we don’t want to have everyone trying to get in at one time because that then slows down the process for everyone,” said Dejoie.

(Story written by Kevin Barnhart/Louisiana Radio Network)