Louisiana has sent out 69,000 ‘frontline worker’ payments

Grocery and convenience store workers have benefited the most

Louisiana Capitol Building
Photo by Julie O'Donoghue

Louisiana has sent out $250 payments to 69,000 “frontline” workers since the middle of July. The state has spent $17 million of the $50 million the Louisiana Legislature set aside for this program, said Kimberly Robinson, the head of the state department of revenue. 

The state only has enough money to assist about 200,000 workers. Overall, the state has received 240,000 applications for the assistance, but they are seeking more information from some people.

There are those who applied, but entered conflicting information on their forms, which means the state can’t give them  money yet.  Other applicants need to clarify who their employers are, because they either didn’t provide a full name or possibly misspelled it. The department also received 12,000 duplicate applications.

People who didn’t fill out their application properly haven’t necessarily missed out on the money. If they turn out to qualify — and they applied in time to receive the funding — they will get $250, Robinson said.  

The “frontline” worker payments are meant to provide some relief to people who had to continue to work in public-facing jobs during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible workers must have been going into work for at least 200 hours when Louisiana was under its stay-at-home order from March 22 to May 14. They also have to make $50,000 or less per year.

Those who qualify include bus drivers, delivery people, nurses, home health care workers, grocery store employees and first responders, among others. 

About a quarter of the people who have already received money work at either a grocery or convenience store. Health care workers made up the next biggest cohort. The largest employers of those who received the relief include Sam’s Club/Walmart, local health care systems, dollar store chains and pharmacies, she said.

A little over 200 of the applicants were filled out for people who have died. The benefits are still available to families of those frontline workers, Robinson said.