BATON ROUGE, LA (AP/WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards' request that President Barack Obama expand the existing federal disaster declaration for Louisiana to include additional parishes has been granted.
Edwards announced Monday that five parishes were added: Catahoula, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, and St. Helena. The deadline for people in these parishes to apply for assistance is May 5.
Edwards added the flooding assistance will make a difference for families who need it.
Previously approved parishes were: Allen, Ascension, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Claiborne, DeSoto, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.
The deadlines for workers affected by the storms and flooding in the approved parishes to apply for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) are next Wednesday and Thursday.
Affected workers in the following parishes must apply by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13: Bossier, Claiborne, Grant, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Webster.
Affected workers in the following parishes must apply by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 14: Beauregard, Bienville, Caddo, Caldwell, DeSoto, La Salle, Livingston, Madison, Natchitoches, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vernon, Washington, West Carroll and Winn.
To qualify for DUA, workers must demonstrate a least one of the following:
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
Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household
Applications filed after the deadlines will be considered late, which may result in DUA benefits being denied unless the person provides good cause for filing after the date. Applicants must provide their Social Security number, check stubs and paperwork to support their claims within 21 days of filing the DUA application. Additional documentation may be required in some cases.
DUA is available from weeks of unemployment beginning March 13, 2016 and up to Sept. 17, 2016, as long as the individual's unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.
Applicants can file for DUA online at www.laworks.net or by calling 1-866-783-5567 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Personal assistance is available at local Business and Career Solutions Centers.