If you recently lost your job, you might qualify for unemployment benefits: money paid by Louisiana’s unemployment insurance fund to those who are temporarily out of work, through no fault of their own. To receive benefits, you must file an application with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The Louisiana Workforce Commission will determine whether you qualify for benefits and, if so, how much you will receive each week.
Are You Eligible for Benefits? To qualify for benefits, you must have earned a certain amount before losing your job, and you must be out of work for reasons that qualify under Louisiana’s rules. Learn more about Louisiana’s eligibility requirements.
Information You’ll Need to File Your Application
Before you apply, you should review the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s materials on unemployment. You’ll find helpful information and resources at the Louisiana Workforce Commission website. Also, check out the Unemployment Benefits Rights and Responsibilities (Benefits Rights Information), which provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on eligibility, filing for benefits, and claiming your benefits.
You will need to have certain information and documents on hand when you complete the application, including:
- personal information, including your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number
- your driver’s license or other identification
- information about your work history in the last year and a half, including the name, address, and phone number of every employer you worked for, your dates of work, and what you earned, and
- the reason why you are no longer employed by your previous employer.
Filing Your Application
In almost every state, you can file for unemployment online. Louisiana’s online portal is the place to start your online application (except in Vermont, which has an online filing system for weekly claims only; initial applications for unemployment must be filed by phone).
Many states also allow you to apply by phone; learn more by calling the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 866-783-5567 . Some states also allow in-person applications, although some did away with this option when offices were closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Find contact information for your local unemployment office or workforce agency at Where Is the Unemployment Office in Louisiana?
Once you file your application, the Louisiana Workforce Commission will contact your former employer to verify your employment information, review your earnings history, and issue a written determination of your eligibility for benefits. If you qualify for benefits, the Louisiana Workforce Commission will also provide your weekly benefit amount. (If the Louisiana Workforce Commission finds you ineligible for benefits, you can appeal; learn more at Can I Appeal a Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Louisiana?)
In the meantime, and for every week you are unemployed, you must file a certification to request your benefits. You may need to provide information about any earnings during the week, your work search activities, and more; see What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Louisiana?