Flood victims eligible for unemployment benefits
Jennifer Larino of the Times-Picayune reports that flood victims in 20 Louisiana parishes who lost their jobs or are temporarily out of work will be eligible for federal money to help cover lost wages. Businesses damaged by the historic flooding can also apply for relief for affected employees.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Tuesday (Aug. 16) it is now accepting applications for disaster unemployment assistance for workers who live in one of the parishes declared by the U.S. government as major disaster areas. Eligible individuals and businesses have until Sept. 15 to apply (NOLA.com).
Parishes now declared federal disaster areas include East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Acadia, Ascension, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, Avoyelles, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Evangeline, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Washington and Vermilion (NOLA.com).
Eligible workers can receive up to $247 a week — the maximum amount of unemployment compensation allowed in Louisiana — for each week of out of work. Benefits last up to 26 weeks as long as an individual’s unemployment continues to be the result of a disaster (NOLA.com).
Workers, including self-employed individuals, qualify for disaster unemployment assistance payments if they:
- were scheduled to begin work or self-employment when the flooding occurred.
- can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to a workplace directly caused by the flooding.
- can establish the work or self-employment they are no longer able to perform was their principal source of income.
- do not qualify for unemployment benefits from any state.
- cannot perform work or self-employment because of any injury that was a direct result of the flood.
- have become the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
Applicants must provide their Social Security number, check stubs and other documents that show they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. All required documents must be filed within 21 days from the date an application is submitted (NOLA.com).
Workers are encouraged to fill out an application for assistance online at www.laworks.net. Locate the “Reemployment Services” tab on the homepage and click on the link labeled “Start or re-open an unemployment claim.”
Those who run into problems or are unable to apply online can call the Louisiana Workforce Commission Benefits Analysis Team at 1-866-783-5567. Calls are answered Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m (NOLA.com).
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