News
Date:September 12, 2008
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

People Affected by Gustav in Seven Additional Parishes Now Eligible to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

BATON ROUGE – Seven additional parishes have been made eligible for federal disaster assistance as a result of Hurricane Gustav. People whose jobs have been lost or interrupted because of the disaster in Calcasieu, Catahoula, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, St. Helena and Washington parishes are eligible to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.

People eligible in these seven parishes must file DUA applications within 30 days of this announcement. The deadline to file is Oct 13, 2008. Applications submitted later may be denied.

These seven parishes are in addition to the 36 previously declared parishes of Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Vernon, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

The deadline for filing for these 36 parishes is Oct. 6, 2008.

Those filing new claims should call 1-866-259-6345 or 1-800-957-1605. The call center will operate from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

For those who have already filed a claim and wish to file for continued weekly benefits, LWC officials recommend they call any of the Easy Call numbers or submit their requests via the Web at www.laworks.net.

People who have issues with their claims should call the commission’s usual toll-free line, 1-866-783-5567, to have them resolved.

The best way to file claims continues to be the LWC Web site at www.laworks.net.

To receive DUA benefits, individuals must provide their social security number, proof of wages, and proof of employment, including the name and address of the last employer. Proof of employment must be received within 21 days from the filing date of the claim. Self-employed individuals must provide their business and financial records, including federal income tax returns for 2007.

DUA is available to individuals for weeks of unemployment beginning Sept. 7, 2008, through March 7, 2009, as long as the claimant's unemployment continues to be a result of Hurricane Gustav. DUA benefits will not be paid for any period of unemployment before or after these dates.

DUA provides benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster. Before an individual can be determined eligible for DUA, it must be established that the individual is not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (under any state or federal law).

DUA is available to unemployed U.S. nationals and qualified aliens who worked or were self-employed if they:

Worked or were self employed in or were scheduled to begin work or self employment in an area declared as a federal disaster area.

Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster.

Establish that the work or self employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

Do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state.

Cannot perform work or self employment because of an injury or because they were incapacitated as a direct result of the disaster.

Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

Cannot work or perform self employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government.

Lose a majority of income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the federal government. Suffering a monetary loss due to damage of property or crops does not automatically entitle an individual to Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

For the latest on Hurricane Gustav, you can visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov or call the state's emergency hotline at 1-866-288-2484 to listen to a recorded message with the most up-to-date information

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