Biden approves disaster unemployment assistance for 25 parishes, including 3 in Acadiana

State News

President Joe Biden speaks about the response to Hurricane Ida during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) reports that U.S. President Joe Biden has officially made disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) available to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ida.

A total of 25 parishes are covered by this declaration, including three Acadiana Parishes. Affected parishes include: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes.

Applications are being accepted until Oct. 4. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause for filing after that date; therefore, claimants should file as soon as possible, according to LWC.

Individuals who lost work or employment 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; and
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Extended Benefits (EB) from any state; and
  • Were unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster; or
  • 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; or
  • Can not physically access the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income; or
  • 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.

Proof of employment/self-employment must be submitted no later than 21 days after filing your claim. The following documents are acceptable as proof of employment:

  • Payroll voucher closest in date to the last work week
  • Employment and earnings statement from employer with name, address and contact information
  • Written statement from employer
  • Notarized affidavit from person with name, address and contact information who can verify claimant’s employment and unemployment (this is for those workers who are unable to reach their employer)
  • Business records (bank statements, business receipts, licenses, advertisements, invoices, appointment books, financial statements)
  • Notarized statement from person with name, address, and contact information who can verify your self-employment and unemployment.

If you are self-employed, your 2020 federal income tax return and schedules can serve as proof of prior wages, but does not substantiate your proof of employment at the time of the disaster. Please refer to the list above of acceptable forms of proof of employment. DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning August 29, 2021 until March 5, 2022, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

Due to the effects of Hurricane Ida the best way for applicants to file their DUA applications is online by visiting www.laworks.net through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal.

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