Unemployment insurance is a state-administered program to provide temporary financial benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own, i.e. those who have been laid off or otherwise terminated without cause. Former employees of eligible employers must meet certain requirements of the Louisiana Employment Security Law in order to file a claim. For qualifying applicants, unemployment insurance benefits are paid to eligible workers as a legal right, and not a matter of need. Qualifying applicants are entitled to their benefits while they seek to return to work up to the maximum designated benefit period (typically 26 weeks subject to certain exceptions).
How Do I Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Louisiana?
In order to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, an unemployed individual can report in person to the nearest Job Center with proof of identification as well as the name and addresses of any employers for whom that person has worked during the past 18 months. If the unemployed individual is a veteran who has been in active service in the past 18 months, he or she should bring a copy of his or her DD214. If the unemployed individual has worked for the federal government in the past 18 months, he or she should bring in his or her SF-8 and SF-10, if available. Unemployed individuals can also file for benefits via telephone or online through the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
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How Do I Qualify for Unemployment Benefits in Louisiana?
The law sets forth requirements to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in three areas: past wages; reason for job separation; and ongoing availability to work and attempts to find work. All three areas must be satisfied to receive benefits. The unemployed individual’s benefits will be calculated based upon his or her past wages, and subject to a maximum benefit. The terms and conditions of the individual’s separation from his or her former employer must be through no fault of his or her own. Finally, the individual must be available to seek work and actively be searching for a new job, subject to a weekly reporting of the individual’s job search.
No one wants to become unwillingly unemployed, but should you find yourself without a job due to downsizing, layoffs, or a termination without cause, it is important to know your rights and pursue your benefits early. Contact an employment attorney as soon as possible with any questions or concerns to ensure that you preserve your rights.