Residents, businesses in 16 parishes affected by Hurricane Laura eligible for disaster unemployment assistance

Helicopter video shows extensive flooding and storm damage from Hurricane Laura in the Cameron,...
Helicopter video shows extensive flooding and storm damage from Hurricane Laura in the Cameron, La., area.
Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 9:24 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials with the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) say businesses and residents in 16 Louisiana parishes affected by Hurricane Laura can apply for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA).

Upon the request of Governor John Bel Edwards, President Donald Trump signed a major disaster declaration request making DUA available to individuals and businesses whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Laura, which began Aug. 22.

RELATED: State of La. launches website for updates on Hurricane Laura recovery efforts

LWC is accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon parishes until Oct. 1.

Applications for Acadia, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, and Winn parishes will be accepted until Oct. 2.

Officials say 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

Officials say benefits may be denied for applications filed after the deadlines 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.

RELATED: Gov. Edwards says southwest Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricane Laura will be ‘very difficult’

DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning Aug. 23 until Feb. 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.

LWC officials encourage individuals to apply for DUA online, due to high call volume, through the LWC’s Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HIRE) portal by clicking here.

Individuals may also apply for DUA by calling 1-866-783-5567 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

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