BATON ROUGE – Following the impacts of Hurricane Zeta on October 26-29, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards requested a major disaster declaration for 6 Louisiana parishes, making disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) available to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Zeta.
Yesterday, the President acted upon the request by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of February 12, 2021: Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Terrebonne.
Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by established deadlines. DUA is available to those who:
• Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment; and
• Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Extended Benefits (EB) from any state; and
• Were unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster; or
• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster; or
• Cannot physically access the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or
• Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income; or
• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
• Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause for filing after that date; therefore, claimants should file as soon as possible.
Proof of employment/self-employment should be submitted no later than 21 days after filing your claim. The following documents are acceptable as proof of employment:
• Payroll voucher closest in date to the last work week
• Employment and earnings statement from employer with name, address and contact information
• Written statement from employer
• Notarized affidavit from person with name, address and contact information who can verify claimant’s employment and unemployment (this is for those workers who are unable to reach their employer)
• Business records (bank statements, business receipts, licenses, advertisements, invoices, appointment books, financial statements)
• Notarized statement from person with name, address, and contact information who can verify your self-employment and unemployment
If you are self-employed, your 2019 federal income tax return and schedules can serve as proof of prior wages, but does not substantiate your proof of employment at the time of the disaster. Please refer to the list above of acceptable forms of proof of employment.
DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning November 1, 2020, until July 17, 2021, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.
Due to unprecedented call volume at this time, applicants are strongly encouraged to file their DUA applications online by visiting www.laworks.net through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal. Applicants may also file by telephone by calling the Benefits Analysis Team at 1-866-783-5567 from Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm CDT and Sundays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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