FAQs > Unemployment Insurance > Claimant Benefits FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions From Claimants Concerning Benefits

  1. What is unemployment insurance?
  2. Who pays for unemployment insurance?
  3. How do I qualify for unemployment insurance benefits?
  4. How do I file for Unemployment Benefits?
  5. How should I file if I worked in another state or more than one state?
  6. What are the minimum and maximum amounts of UI benefits?
  7. How do I file for weekly benefits?
  8. Debit Cards or Direct Deposit
  9. When will I receive my first payment?
  10. What are Extended Benefits?
  11. What are Trade Readjustment Act Benefits, or TRA?
  12. How do I file an initial claim for TRA benefits?
  13. How do I file for weekly TRA payments?
  14. How do I repay an overpayment of UI benefits?
  15. What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or DUA?
  16. Does the Louisiana Workforce Commission provide information concerning welfare benefits or child support garnishments?
  17. Are UI benefits taxable?
  18. How can I obtain a duplicate 1099?
  19. How can I get records for proof of the amounts of unemployment benefits that I received or am entitled to receive?
  20. Free Legal Service Programs in Louisiana

  1. What is unemployment insurance?

    Unemployment insurance (UI) is a program designed to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet the requirements of the Louisiana Employment Security Law. UI benefits are paid as a matter of past employment and legal entitlement, and not on the basis of need.

    Return To Questions

  2. Who pays for unemployment insurance?

    In Louisiana, employers pay all the costs of unemployment insurance through a payroll tax or reimbursable program. Employees do not pay any part of their wages to finance the Unemployment Insurance Program.

    Return To Questions

  3. How do I qualify for unemployment insurance benefits

    The law sets qualifying requirements in three main areas: your past wages, your job separation, and ongoing availability and work search requirements. You must meet all of the following qualifying requirements in order to receive benefits.

    Past Wages
    You must have earned enough wages in your base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you filed your claim.
    Reason for separation from your last work
    You must be unemployed or partially unemployed through no fault of your own in order to receive benefits.
    Ongoing availability and work search
    You must be physically able and available to work. You must also be actively seeking work. If you are temporarily laid off and have a definite return-to-work date, your work search requirements may be waived.

    For more detailed information refer to the Benefit Rights Information (PDF) (en Español).

    Return To Questions

  4. How do I file for Unemployment Benefits?

    To file a claim for unemployment insurance, you may contact the UI Call Center @ 1-866-783-5567 or you may file online.

    Before filing a claim, you will need the following information:

    • Your social security number.
    • Names, addresses, job-site locations and telephone numbers of any employers for whom you worked during the last 18 months.
    • Name and local number of union hall (if applicable).
    • Alien registration number (if applicable).
    • The member-4 copy of your DD214 (if you served in the military during the last 18 months)
    • Your SF-8 and SF-50 (if you worked for a federal employer during the last 18 months). However, do not delay filing if you cannot locate your federal documents.

    Return To Questions

  5. How should I file if I worked in another state or more than one state?

    No matter in which state you may have worked, or in which state you may now live, you can file your UI claim in the Job Center closest to your current place of residence. Personnel in that office will assist you in determining against which state you should file. There is a Job Center or a State Employment Office in nearly every large town in the United States. Click here to find an office near you.

    Return To Questions

  6. What are the minimum and maximum amounts of UI benefits?

    The minimum weekly benefit amount of UI in Louisiana is $10.00. The maximum is currently $247. Your weekly benefit amount could be anywhere in this range, depending upon the total amount of wages paid to you during your base period. The total amount of unemployment insurance benefits payable to you would be equal to 26 times your weekly benefit amount.

    Return To Questions

  7. How do I file for weekly benefits?

    You should file your weekly claims by phoning the Interactive Voice Response System, Easy Call. For Easy Call information and phone numbers, click here (PDF).

    Return To Questions

  8. Debit Cards or Direct Deposit

    In most cases, payments of UI benefits will be made through the use of Debit Cards or Direct Deposit. Shortly after you file your claim, you will receive a debit card in the mail. It will have instructions on how to activate the card. If you wish to have your weekly UI payments directly deposited into your personal bank account, complete the Direct Deposit Form found under “Downloads” on this site and follow instructions for forwarding to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

    Return To Questions

  9. When will I receive my first payment?

    It may be 3 or 4 days after you file your weekly claim before the benefits are available through the debit card. You may inquire about the balance on the card, without charge, by contacting the customer service center listed on the card. If you have problems with the debit card, contact Chase Bank at 1-866-795-5926.

    Return To Questions

  10. What are Extended Benefits?

    During periods of high unemployment, the Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 provides for additional unemployment insurance benefits to claimants. When this occurs, potentially eligible claimants will be notified by the Louisiana Workforce Commission and through the local news media.

    Return To Questions

  11. What are Trade Readjustment Act Benefits, or TRA?

    The Trade Readjustment Act provides benefits to workers who are displaced by increased imports of articles or products in competition with those produced by the affected workers. To qualify for TRA, a person must be an adversely affected worker covered under a petition certified by the United States Department of Labor — and the worker must meet certain separation, wage and employment qualifications. TRA benefits are payable only after the exhaustion of all other UI claims.

    Return To Questions

  12. How do I file an initial claim for TRA benefits?

    If you have NOT YET filed for regular Unemployement Insurance benefits, your TRA application will be taken at the time you apply for regular UI. You must answer "Yes" to the question: "Did you become unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of foreign trade competiton covered by a Certified Trade Petition?" You may apply online at www.laworks.net or via phone at 866-783-5567.

    If you HAVE ALREADY APPLIED for regular UI Benefits you should call the Call Center at 866-783-5567 and ask to file a TRA Claim for benefits.

    Return To Questions

  13. How do I file for weekly TRA payments?

    To file for weekly TRA payments, you must complete and mail the form LWC 858A or LWC 858B to the TRA Payment Unit each week. For instructions and forms that you can print and mail, click here.

    Return To Questions

  14. How do I repay an overpayment of UI benefits?

    To pay back an overpayment, you may send a check or money order to:

    Collections Unit
    P. O. Box 44063
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804

    Be sure to include your social security number on the check or money order. Make the check or money order payable to: Louisiana Workforce Commission. Remember, do not send cash through the mail.

    Return To Questions

  15. What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or DUA?

    If the President of the United States declares a disaster in your area, payment of Disaster Unemployment Assistance may be authorized. Persons who become unemployed as a result of the disaster, and who do not qualify for regular UI benefits, may file for DUA. Should a disaster be declared in your area, your local news media will provide information on how to obtain this assistance.

    For more detailed information refer to the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Information (PDF).

    Return To Questions

  16. Does the Louisiana Workforce Commission provide information concerning welfare benefits or child support garnishments?

    Welfare benefits, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps are not handled by this agency. They are handled by the Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support. Consult your telephone directory for further assistance.

    Questions concerning child support deductions taken from UI benefit checks should be directed to the Support Enforcement Office, a division of the Office of Family Support.

    Return To Questions

  17. Are UI benefits taxable?

    Any UI benefits you receive are taxable income. You will be issued Form 1099G at the end of January showing the amount of benefits paid to you, as well as any federal income tax withheld at the time the benefits were paid. The amount on the 1099G is not reduced by any repayments you may have made for overpaid benefits. Therefore, if you repaid any benefits, you must maintain your record of payment, such as reimbursement receipts or canceled check notices to make adjustments to your taxable income and as documentation for the federal Internal Revenue Service and State Tax Office when you file your tax returns.

    Return To Questions

  18. How can I obtain a duplicate 1099?

    If you do not receive a Form 1099G because you have moved since you last claimed benefits, or if you need a duplicate Form 1099G from a previous year, you may contact the U.I. Call Center at 1-866-783-5567 for assistance or send us a written request. If you send a written request, be sure to include you social security number, name, current mailing address, and the year for which you need the 1099G.
    Mail your request to:

    Louisiana Workforce Commission
    Records Preservation Unit
    Room 312
    P. O. Box 44094
    Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9094

    Return To Questions

  19. How can I get records for proof of the amounts of unemployment benefits that I received or am entitled to receive?

    You should send a written request for this information to the Unemployment Insurance Custodian of Records. You must include your social security number, your name and return address.
    This request should be mailed to:

    Louisiana Workforce Commission
    UI Custodian of Records
    Room 390
    P. O. Box 44094
    Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9094

    For additional information, call (225) 342-3018.

    Return To Questions

  20. Free Legal Service Programs in Louisiana

    The programs listed below provide free legal aid to eligible low-income persons in Louisiana. To find out if you are eligible and if the program can help, contact the program nearest you.

    • Acadiana Legal Services Corporation, www.la-law.org
      Based in Lafayette, Telephone 337-237-4320, 800-256-1175 (parishes of Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion).
    • Capital Area Legal Services Corporation, www.calscla.org
      Based in Baton Rouge, with offices in Houma, Donaldsonville and Gonzales. Telephone 225-387-5173, 800-256-1900, Baton Rouge (parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Pointe Coupee, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Terrebonne, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana).
    • Legal Services of North Louisiana, www.lsnl.org
      Based in Shreveport, with offices in Monroe and Natchitoches. Telephone 318-222-7186, 800-826-9265 (parishes of Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, West Carroll, Webster).
    • New Orleans Legal Assistance, www.nolac.org (an office of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) Telephone 504-529-1000, 877-521-6242.
    • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, www.slls.org
      Based in Hammond, with offices in Covington, Marrero, and New Orleans. Telephone 985-345-2130, 800-349-0886 (parishes of Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington).

    More free and low-cost legal aid programs can be found on-line, at www.lawhelp.org/LA.

    Return To Questions