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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
You must meet all Louisiana unemployment benefits eligibility criteria to collect unemployment insurance benefits from the state. Unemployment benefits in Louisiana are for people who worked for an employer who paid unemployment insurance tax by law. People who have earned wages through self-employment will not be eligible to claim those wages toward Louisiana unemployment benefits. You must meet both work and wages eligibility criteria to collect benefit payments. The best way to find out if you are eligible for unemployment insurance is to apply.
Work Eligibility Criteria
To meet work eligibility criteria, you must:
- Be out of work or had hours significantly reduced through no fault of your own
- Be able to work at all times. If you are sick, injured, in the hospital, on vacation, etc. for just one day, you cannot file for benefits that week.
- Be available for work immediately
- Accept any suitable job offers
- Actively look for work every week
- Register for work through a Louisiana Workforce Commission Job Center
Wages Eligibility Criteria
You will need to meet the following wages eligibility criteria in order to qualify for Louisiana unemployment benefits.
- Earned at least $1,200 during your base period
- Made at least 1.5 times as much money during your total base period than you did in one quarter
- Did not earn more income than the Maximum Benefit Amount in any week.
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Unemployment Availability Limits
When you receive Louisiana unemployment benefits, you will collect no less than $10 and no more than $247 per week. You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks in one calendar year. If unemployment extensions are available, you may be able to collect benefit payments for a longer period of time. You will be disqualified from receiving benefits if you:
- Refuse a suitable job offer
- Make $247 or more in a week
- Don’t apply for work
- Involved in a labor strike or work dispute
- Receive Workers’ Compensation
- Receive pension or retirement plan payments contributed to by an employer
- Were fired for drug use
- Do not report as instructed
- Apply for unemployment benefits in another state, U.S. territory, or Canada
In August 2016, devastating floods destroyed homes and businesses across Louisiana. If you live in one of the 22 parishes affected by flooding, and you have become unemployed or had your hours cut as a direct result of the flooding, you may be eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Benefits. Businesses can also apply for disaster unemployment assistance for their employees who have been affected. Claimants had until October 22, 2016 to apply for disaster unemployment insurance. For further information on continued flood relief efforts, contact your local LWC. There is a very high call volume at the UI Call Center because of the extra applications, so you are encouraged to apply online at http://www.laworks.net/.
Because of the current disaster relief efforts, work search activities and re-employment reporting have been temporarily suspended until further notice. You should continue filing for weekly benefits as normal.