Workers and self-employed individuals in Assumption, St Helena, St James, Terrebonne and Washington parishes may now apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of Hurricane Isaac, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.
Workers who have lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who are unable to perform services because of the disaster in parishes eligible for FEMA's individual disaster assistance are eligible for DUA. Individuals applying for assistance in Assumption, St Helena, St James, Terrebonne and Washington parishes must file their applications by Oct. 8, 2012.
Parishes already announced as eligible for DUA are Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany. For applicants in those parishes, the deadline to file for DUA is Oct. 2. For applicants in St. Charles and Tangipahoa parishes, the deadline to file for DUA is Oct. 5.
Applications filed after the deadline for that parish will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after the deadline.
The DUA program is federally funded but administered by the LWC. The LWC is accepting claims according to the filing periods for each parish as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. The LWC is accepting all DUA and regular unemployment insurance claims at www.laworks.net. People without internet access or who experience trouble filing online can call the LWC toll free at 1-866-783-5567.
The LWC's Business and Career Solutions Centers have computers available for people to file claims. Center staff members also are available to assist job seekers and employers. All centers have either reopened or are providing services via an LWC mobile unit, a customized RV fitted with computers and internet access that serve as rolling service centers.
To receive DUA benefits, individuals must provide their Social Security number, proof of wages, and proof of employment, including the name and address of the last employer to the LWC. Proof of employment must be received within 21 days from the filing date of the claim. Self-employed individuals must provide their business and financial records, including federal income tax returns for 2011.
The DUA period is from the week-ending date of Sept. 8, 2012, and up to March 2, 2013, as long as the claimant's unemployment continues to be a result of Hurricane Isaac. DUA benefits will not be paid for any period of unemployment before or after these dates.
Before an individual can be determined eligible for DUA, it must be established that the individual is not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits or extended unemployment compensation (under any state or federal law).
DUA is available to unemployed U.S. nationals and qualified aliens who worked or were self-employed if they:
• Worked or were self employed in or were scheduled to begin work or self employment in an area declared as a federal disaster area;
• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster;
• Establish that the work or self employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
• Do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state;
• Cannot perform work or self employment because of an injury, or because they were incapacitated as a direct result of the disaster;
• Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household;
• Cannot work or perform self employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government;
• Lose a majority of income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the federal government.
Suffering a monetary loss because of damage to property or crops does not automatically entitle an individual to DUA.
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