How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the amount of time you have to work in order to be eligible for unemployment compensation depends upon the amount of wages earned in a base period. Louisiana considers the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters, which is the usual base period for most states. The minimum time that has to be spent working depends entirely on the amount of money you earned while working. The amount of time you need to work is determined by the highest quarter wages you earned and a multiple of those wages. As long as you meet the minimum required earning amounts, that is the minimum length of time you have to spend working. You have to work long enough to earn $800 total in one quarter and long enough to earn  a total of $1,200 in the entire base period – these are the minimum requirements for Louisiana. Further, your employer also has to qualify under your state’s requirements for unemployment coverage.

Louisiana uses the Multiple of High-Quarter Wages (HQW) method.

To compute your eligibility, follow this model:

If your highest wages earned in a quarter is > than $800, you meet the first requirement.

if that amount is also > than 1.5 x your HQW, you meet the second requirement.

if your total wages earned in the BP is > than $1,200, you meet the third requirement

If you meet all three requirements, you are eligible for unemployment compensation in Louisiana, just like Worker A is.

Louisiana does not offer an Alternate Base Period for workers who are ineligible because of insufficient wages earned in the regular Base Period.

Louisiana does allow for an Extended Base Period for workers who are ineligible due to insufficient wages earned in the regular base period if the worker could not work because of a job related injury/disease and files a claim within 24 months of being injured. The Extended Base Period takes into consideration the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the worker was injured.

LA defines an employer or employing unit having paid a minimum of $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter of the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.


  • Lori c

    Ok so I am still under probation as a new hire I had voiced my concern about the work load. I did not get help. I put my resignation in on a Tuesday & by Friday I asked for it to be rescinded. I have not gotten a message or call about it. Will I still qualify for unemployment since I decided I did not want to resign?

    • Have you gone back to work? If so, wait for the employer to discharge you. Otherwise, go to work tomorrow and see what happens. If the employer sends you home because of the resignation, you can apply for benefits. You will most probably be denied because of your resignation even though you retracted it. Employer will say you quit. If you appeal, you have a good chance of overturning that decision especially if you’ve been working since you retracted the resignation.

  • Tray

    I work for my employer from 01/10/2017 and was laid off this week due to the job ending (construction). Do I qualify?

    • What is your work history in 2016??

      For LA, you need two quarters of earnings in your base period. Since LA doesn’t have an alternate base period, earliest you could apply for LA benefits would be in October, when LA will review wages July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. Further, total earnings must equal 1.5x high quarter wages.

      If you have an earnings history in 2016, it is quite possible you qualify in another state. Again, where did you work prior to LA and for how long?

  • Vee

    I’ve recently been laid off (1/31/17). I worked for this employer for 7 months and was unemployed the previous 8 months. I have no income the first 2 quarters of my base period 533 for the third quarter and 6500 the fourth quarter. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Your total earnings must equal 1.5x your high quarter. You need total earnings of $9,750 ($6,500×1.5). Based on your numbers, you don’t qualify – but you should apply anyway just to be sure there aren’t other wages lurking somewhere in LA’s database.

  • Lacey

    Are you eligible if you were fired for insubordination

    • Depends on the circumstances – and whether LA and your employer’s definition of subordination is the same. Apply. If denied, appeal. Many appeals are won – and many claimants never get benefits because they walk away at the first denial.

  • Masheka Jackson

    Can you recieve unemployment if your fired for attendance?

  • Masheka Jackson

    I worked at Sams club for 4 and a half years . July of this year i had to transfer to Walmart where i am currently emoloyed. If i file for unemployment would my amount be determined from Walmart and Sams or just Walmart?

    • Your benefit is based on wages from ALL employers in the base period used for your claim. Base periods vary by state. However, in your case, standard base period would apply which is the same in every state. If you apply before year-end, your benefit will be based on earnings July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. If you apply in January, base period will be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016.

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