You may be able to receive federal unemployment benefits for a temporary time if you meet the qualifications for the unemployment insurance program. If the Louisiana Department of Labor office approves your unemployment benefits claim, you must continue to meet eligibility requirements and search for new employment.
We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in Louisiana on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in Louisiana by reading below, checking out our Louisiana FAQs, and reading our free guide.
Learn About Unemployment Benefits in Louisiana
In Louisiana, all employers are required to report their employees’ wages four times a year (quarterly). When an applicant first files a claim, the state will only consider the wages they earned in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.
To claim benefits, the state must determine that you meet the standards below:
- You earned at least $1,200 in wages before the lag quarter.
- The total amount that you earned before the lag quarter is equal to or greater than one and a half times your highest wage amount (high quarter).
- The applicant’s employer paid into the federal unemployment benefits fund during that time.
Workers who are self-employed or have employers that failed to pay will usually be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Louisiana imposes a weekly limit on the financial aid amount that unemployed workers can receive. Workers who meet the eligibility requirements for benefits are entitled to receive a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $275 each week. But the specific aid amount will be determined using a set formula.
If you receive any of the following types of payments from your previous job, it will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount:
You must file an unemployment benefits claim each week in order to continue to receive aid. If you fail to report the above payments to the state, you could end up having to pay back some or all of the benefits that you received.
Learn About Filing a Claim in Louisiana
Unemployed residents wondering how to claim unemployment benefits in Louisiana should know that they can complete the application process either online or over the phone.
If you elect to file an unemployment benefits claim online through the state HiRE portal, you will be able to automatically submit an application to the state database for review. If you wish to file a claim over the phone, you must call the Louisiana Workforce Commission and answer a series of questions.
Before you start your application, make sure to have the following on hand:
- Your Social Security number
- Banking information (for direct deposit)
- Past income and employment information
When filing an application, workers can choose to receive their unemployment benefits in the form of a state-issued debit card or direct deposit. Direct deposit is the most popular method, and it gives recipients faster access to their funds. It is the responsibility of the beneficiary to inform the bank of their decision to use direct deposit.
Individuals who prefer a debit card will receive their funds in the mail, and the card will remain active for three years. You can change the way you wish to claim unemployment benefits at any time by logging onto your HiRE account or by calling your local Louisiana Department of Labor office.
After filing a claim, workers will receive a determination letter in the mail detailing the monetary amount they are eligible to receive.
How Long You May Receive Benefits in Louisiana
Unemployment benefits are measured during a 52-week calendar year, and recipients will only be able to receive a predetermined maximum amount of benefit weeks during this time. If beneficiaries have not found full-time employment and exceed their maximum before the 52-week period is over, they must wait until the next calendar year to file a new unemployment benefits claim.
To continue claiming benefits for unemployment in Louisiana, beneficiaries must meet eligibility standards each week, including:
- Recording at least three job contacts
- Registering for work with the state
- Reporting any job offers and refusals
- Being available for full-time work
Those having difficulty finding a job may be to apply for a Louisiana unemployment benefits extension under certain periods of statewide high unemployment.
Learn About Louisiana Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
Recipients of LA federal unemployment benefits must record the full monetary amount that they receive each week as taxable income. Unlike your employers, the government does not automatically withhold funds from the unemployment benefits you receive each week, so you will need to make quarterly estimated tax payments.
If you prefer to have your taxes deducted right away, the state allows recipients to have at least 10 percent of their weekly benefit amount withheld if they wish to avoid making estimated payments. The state will provide you with the necessary tax form (IRS 1099-G), and if you wish to change your withholding option at any time, you must call the state Department of Labor directly.
Last Updated: February 28, 2023