This article was last updated: 4/1/2020
Many employees’ worlds have been flipped upside down due to the impacts of COVID-19. Based on the Department of Labor (DOL) Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending March 21st, the United States saw an increase of 3,001,000 unemployment claims from the previous week. This marks the highest level of claims since 1982.
Related Article: COVID-19 Resources for Employers & Employees
Below, we have outlined a basic guide to help employees navigate through the process of filing for unemployment in Louisiana through the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).
Eligibility and Additional Information
You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if:
- Your work hours have been reduced because of a lack of work due to COVID-19;
- Your workplace closes temporarily, and you are not being compensated; or
- You have been instructed not to go to work, and you are not being paid while at home.
- If your work hours have been reduced, you may receive up to a maximum of $247 a week*.
- The maximum number of weeks that unemployment benefits can be paid per claim is 26 weeks in a 12-month period*.
- LWC has special requirements related to vacation, PTO, and sick leave, so it is highly recommended you speak with your current employer and LWC for guidance on available usage and reporting.
- Be sure to answer “yes” to the question, “Are you filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?” This will provide needed information to the LWC to help process your claim.
- *IMPORTANT NOTES:
- As per the Governor’s proclamation, the work search and the week of waiting requirements have been waived for individuals whose employment has been impacted due to COVID-19.
- Additional compensation in the amount of $600 per week may be available under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provision in the CARES Act, for a maximum of 39 weeks or until December 31, 2020. Be sure to ask about these changes when you contact LWC to discuss your claim.
Step-by-Step Guide to File a Claim
- The easiest way to file a claim is: louisianaworks.net/hire/vosnet/Default.aspx. You can also call LWC’s Claim Center at 866-783-5567. Effective March 17, 2020, LWC has extended its Claim Center hours to 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.
- Scroll to the bottom and find “REEMPLOYMENT SERVICES”. Under the header, click on “START OR RE-OPEN AN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM.”
- Read the information provided and locate the required information to create an account. Once completed, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “NEXT”.
- Enter the information gathered and answer all the necessary questions to complete the LWC Unemployment Claim Process.
For more information, visit http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/PR/COVID_19_Information.pdf
Brandy Rush contributed to this article.