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BATON ROUGE – A request by Gov. John Bel Edwards that was approved by President Donald J. Trump granting a major disaster declaration for Louisiana parishes impacted by Hurricane Laura will make disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) available to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Laura which began August 22, 2020, and ended on August 27, 2020.
Gov. Edwards has requested federal assistance for all 23 parishes impacted. At this time, 21 have been approved by FEMA.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is now accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of October 14, 2020: Caddo, La Salle and St. Landry.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is also accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of October 12, 2020: Morehouse and Union.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is also accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of October 2, 2020: Acadia, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion and Winn.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is also accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon until September 30, 2020.
Additional parishes may be added in the future, and individuals within those parishes will have 30 days from the date of announcement to complete an initial application. If the 30th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday in the major disaster area, the 30-day time limit shall be extended to the next business day.
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;
• 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;
• Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
• Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
• 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. Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.
DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning August 23, 2020, until February 27, 2021, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. The additional $300 in Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) is NOT included with DUA payments.
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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