Unemployment can be a shocking and trying experience for many people. Most people immediately start looking for a new job, but that can take a while. In the meantime, you still have to find a way to fund your life. If you live in Louisiana, then you can seek temporary financial relief in the form of unemployment insurance benefits from the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
How to Qualify for Unemployment
You can only qualify for unemployment benefits in Louisiana if you are out of work through no fault of your own. In other words, if you quit your job, then it has to be because of a valid reason that is connected to your job. If you were fired, then it cannot have happened because you did something wrong. You also have to be willing to work and capable of working. Also, you have to be looking for work. Lastly, you have to have earned enough money in the base period to qualify for unemployment. You should apply for unemployment as soon as you are out of work.
How to Apply for Unemployment
In order to get unemployment benefits, you will need to apply online or call the unemployment benefit line at 1-866-783-5567. When you go to apply, you should have your social security card or alien registration card ready, because you will need to provide the number on the card. If you were part of a union, you need to have your name and number of your union hall. You also need the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any job you worked at for the past 18 months. If you are applying after leaving the military, then you will need your member-4 copy of DD214. Similarly, if you left a job with the federal government, you will need your SF-8 and SF-50.
If you have already been unemployed, went back to work, and are unemployed again all in the same year, then you can just reopen your old claim online instead of filing a new application. However, if it has been more than one year since your last claim, then you have to start the application process from the beginning.
How Long Does Unemployment Last?
You are only able to receive unemployment insurance benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. You have to file weekly claims by calling Easy Call to keep your benefits going. If you have worked at all during that time, then you have to report it. You also have to contact 3 different employers every week and keep a log of your contacts.
What Can I Do If I Run Out of Unemployment?
When there is a period of high unemployment in the state of Louisiana, then unemployment benefits may be extended. If this happens, you will be notified through a letter.
You may also be able to receive non-financial assistance from the Louisiana Workforce Commission for your job hunt. Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE) is an online program to help you fix your resume and find work. The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is funded by unemployment insurance to train employees in new jobs.
What If My Application for Benefits Was Denied?
If your application was rejected, you have 15 days to appeal that decision to the Appeals Unit of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. While you are appealing, you should still file weekly claims and keep a record of you looking for work because, if you do win your appeal, you can ask for retroactive benefits. If the commission also denies you, then you can further appeal to the Board of Review of the Louisiana Workforce Commission within 15 days. Finally, as a last resort, you can appeal your denial to the local state court.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?
If you are applying for unemployment insurance benefits, talking to a Louisiana employment lawyer can help ensure that you receive your unemployment benefits. It is even more important to seek legal assistance if you have to deal with a complicated appeals process.