State Extending Application Period for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Tropical Weather
A child pulls a crab trap through the mud in Holly Beach, La., amid devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission said it is extending the disaster unemployment assistance application period to Oct. 30 for individuals affected by Hurricane Laura.  

Included in this uniform application period will be the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermillion, Vernon, and Winn making DUA available to workers and self-employed individuals who lost work or earnings as a direct result of Hurricane Laura that began Aug. 22 through Aug. 27. 

Applications for DUA will be accepted by the Louisiana Workforce Commission from workers and self-employed individuals in these parishes until the deadline of Oct. 30. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause.

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. 

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 Aug. 23 and up to Feb. 27, 2021 as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. 

Due to high call volume at this time, applicants are encouraged to file their DUA applications online by visiting 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. In an effort to better serve the public, our office hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT. However, delays are expected when filing over the phone. To avoid these delays, applicants are encouraged to file online.