CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- People and individuals who are unemployed because of the heavy rains, landslides and flooding in February must apply for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by Monday, April 3, according to officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The February 28 presidential declaration made provisions for benefits under the DUA Program.
Mildred Brown, West Virginia DUA Coordinating Officer, explained that federally funded disaster unemployment benefits are administered by the state in the same way as West Virginia's regular unemployment program. Persons who have suffered a loss of employment because of this disaster should make application for federal benefits at the nearest office of the Unemployment Compensation Division of the West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs.
"The Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program is designed to help people make ends meet until they get back to work" said Justo Hernandez, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery effort.
The program extends coverage to people who would otherwise be ineligible for unemployment compensation, including agricultural and hourly paid workers, salaried employees, the self-employed and other categories of workers not included in the regular unemployment program.
"The federal government funds this emergency benefit program. Therefore, there are no increases in taxes paid by West Virginia employers to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund for this purpose," Hernandez explained.
Federally declared counties made eligible for disaster individual assistance through the February 28 presidential declaration include Barbour, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Mason, Monogalia, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tucker,Tyler, Upshur, Wetzel and Wirt.