Honolulu, HI -- Big Island residents unemployed as a result of the recent severe storms and flooding may be eligible to file for federal disaster unemployment assistance, state and federal disaster recovery officials said today.
"This program extends coverage only to people who would otherwise be ineligible for unemployment compensation under the regular state program," Ed Teixeira, state coordinating officer, said.
The special assistance program was triggered following President Clinton's declaration of Hawaii County as a disaster area. Those eligible include people who are:
- Out of work as a result of the disaster
- Self-employed or a migrant/seasonal worker with income affected by the disaster
- Not covered by any other unemployment insurance.
The federally funded, disaster assistance program is administered by the state in the same way as the Hawaii unemployment program. Individuals who want to file for benefits may apply at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Hilo at the Butler Building next to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium or at the unemployment insurance office in Kona. Applicants need to bring a picture identification card and/or any document showing their Social Security number, pay stubs or tax returns, financial statements or profit and loss statements showing net earnings for the 1999 tax year.
Information on this program or any other disaster program is available by calling the toll-free FEMA Disaster Information Helpline at 1-800-525-0321. Persons who are speech or hearing impaired can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. The Helpline operates daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.