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Sep 2, 2012 2:21 PM

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available for Victims of Hurricane Isaac

BATON ROUGE -- People whose jobs have been lost or interrupted because of the disaster in the parishes eligible for FEMA's individual disaster assistance as a result of Hurricane Isaac also are eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.

Those parishes are Lafourche, Livingston, Ascension, Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany.

Those eligible must file DUA applications by the deadline Oct. 2, 2012. Applications submitted later may be denied.

The DUA program, federally funded but administered by the LWC, is now accepting claims and will continue until the end of the 30-day filing period.

The LWC is accepting all unemployment insurance claims at www.laworks.net. People without internet access or who experience trouble filing online can call 1-866-783-5567.

The LWC's Business and Career Solutions Centers have computers available for people to file claims. Center staff also are available to assist job seekers and employers. Centers that closed because of the hurricane will reopen as power, access and other critical services are restored.

LWC mobile units, customized RVs fitted with computers and internet access that serve as rolling service centers, will be sent to high-volume areas to assist citizens with job needs.

To receive DUA benefits, individuals must provide their Social Security number, proof of wages, and proof of employment, including the name and address of the last employer to the LWC. Proof of employment must be received within 21 days from the filing date of the claim. Self-employed individuals must provide their business and financial records, including federal income tax returns for 2011.

DUA is available to individuals for weeks of unemployment beginning Sept. 8, 2012, through March 2, 2013, as long as the claimant's unemployment continues to be a result of Hurricane Isaac. DUA benefits will not be paid for any period of unemployment before or after these dates.

Before an individual can be determined eligible for DUA, it must be established that the individual is not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits or extended unemployment compensation (under any state or federal law).

DUA is available to unemployed U.S. nationals and qualified aliens who worked or were self-employed if they:

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Worked or were self employed in or were scheduled to begin work or self employment in an area declared as a federal disaster area;
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Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster;
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Establish that the work or self employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
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Do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state;
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Cannot perform work or self employment because of an injury, or because they were incapacitated as a direct result of the disaster;
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Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household;
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Cannot work or perform self employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government;
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Lose a majority of income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the federal government.

Suffering a monetary loss because of damage to property or crops does not automatically entitle an individual to DUA.

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