Louisiana Extended Unemployment

The current economic situation has led to longer than normal periods of unemployment. The long term unemployed still require assistance even after their normal unemployment benefits have run out. The Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 allows for extended benefits during periods of high unemployment. The current number of unemployed is around 14.0 million. Of those 14.0 million, 6 million are considered long term unemployed. This means they have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks. The current rate of unemployment in Louisiana is 9.1 percent. This is above the federally mandated 8.5% requirement for extended unemployment benefits.

In order to qualify for these benefits the unemployed worker must first file a claim through their local Louisiana Unemployment Office. There are several requirements a potential claimant must meet in order to qualify for benefits.

  • The claimant must be a legal resident of the state of Louisiana. Even if the claimant has worked in another state, they can still apply for unemployment benefits if they are a resident.
  • In order to qualify for benefits, the claimant must meet minimum wage requirements for the past four of five quarters of employment.
  • A claimant’s current state of joblessness must be through no fault of his or her own. If the claimant was terminated with cause, they will not qualify for benefits.
  • In order to continue to receive benefits the claimant must continue to seek gainful employment. If the claimant is experiencing seasonal unemployment with a hard return to work date, this requirement might be waived.

Once normal unemployment benefits have been exhausted, it is possible that the unemployed worker is eligible for extended unemployment benefits. If the unemployed worker is eligible, they will be contacted through their unemployment office. No additional filing is required. The amount of time benefits can be extended is largely dependent on the current unemployment rate. The period of time in which extended unemployment eligibility lasts can be up to 20 weeks.

The long term unemployed need to keep in mind that unemployment benefits are a bridge and not a crutch. They are not an excuse stop seeking gainful employment. The government provides extended unemployment benefits for those who simply cannot find work. They do not extend this assistance for those who refuse to look. There are many resources available to those seeking work such as the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

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