Will workers paid as independent contractors/freelancers, not traditional employees, be eligible for unemployment benefits?

The Louisiana Workforce Commission has received funding from the federal CARES Act.

Anyone who is qualified for at least $1 of State Unemployment Insurance Benefits or the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits will be eligible to receive the additional $600 benefit from the federal CARES Act. This includes self-employed and 1099 workers, who are normally excluded from receiving state benefits.

The federal unemployment ($600) is retroactive for weeks filed back to the week-ending 4/4/2020.

If you are ineligible for state unemployment benefits but you qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you will receive the $600.

To learn more about PUA, visit https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/UIPUABenefitsRightsInformation2020.pdf.

UPDATE (3/16/2021):

  • PUA benefits have been extended through the week ending Sept. 6, 2021.
  • The maximum duration of PUA benefits has increased from 50 to 79 weeks.

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