President Barack Obama officially granted a major disaster declaration request for 12 Louisiana parishes, making disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) available to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of flooding that began August 11, 2016 and continues. The president acted upon a 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 September 15, 2016: The parishes of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Acadia, Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry and Vermilion.
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 of 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 from weeks of unemployment beginning August 14, 2016 and up to February 18, 2017, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.
To file for DUA, applicants should apply online by visiting www.laworks.net and filing an application through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal or by calling the Benefits Analysis Team at 1-866-783-5567 Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Due to high call volume at this time, applicants are encouraged to try the online method first. Additional information is available at www.laworks.net.
Those needing assistance can also visit any of the Business & Career Solutions Centers in our area. Our staff is ready to help!