Jobless Claims in La. Reach Historic Levels After Hurricanes

October 14, 2005

The Louisiana Department of Labor reported it has paid out more than $3 million in Unemployment Insurance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits to victims of Hurricane Rita, while Katrina claims have topped $181 million.

Of those who have filed claims in the wake of Rita, 20,530 are eligible to receive jobless benefits from the department. Some 14,866 are eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits and 5,664 will receive disaster unemployment relief.

In a typical three-week period, the labor department processes 9,000 claims. The two-fold increase in unemployment claims for Rita represents the continued and unprecedented upswing in claims taken by the department since Hurricane Katrina.

To date, 238,461 eligible claims have been filed by victims of Hurricane Katrina. Unemployment insurance claims number 168,514 and disaster unemployment assistance claims total 69,947.

For Rita, the department has paid $2.3 million in regular unemployment insurance claims and $756,756 in disaster unemployment assistance. Jobless benefits for Katrina victims now stand at $181,844,590, of which $150,656,329 was paid to individuals who qualified for regular unemployment insurance and $31,188,261 was paid to those receiving disaster unemployment assistance. By comparison, the labor department paid $20 million for unemployment benefits in September of 2004.

To file for Unemployment Insurance or Disaster Unemployment Assistance, individuals can call (800) 430-8076 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., seven days a week; visit; or go to any LDOL One-Stop or Job Center.

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