Jackson, MS -- Residents located in the 15 disaster declared Mississippi counties who are unemployed because of the recent tornadoes, flooding and severe storms are now eligible to apply for disaster unemployment assistance.
State Coordinating Officer for the disaster recovery effort, Leon Shaifer, reported that the State of Mississippi Employment Security Commission has requested and has received initial funding "A supplemental request for additional funds can be requested later if additional funds are needed," Shaifer said.
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program covers 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 special assistance program was activated following President Bush's disaster declaration on December 7.
Gracia Szczech, the federal official in charge of the disaster recovery effort, said, "Claims for disaster unemployment assistance should be filed at the unemployment insurance office of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission nearest to the person's home. This emergency benefit program is entirely funded by the federal government; therefore, there will be no increases in taxes paid by Mississippi employers to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund."
The deadline for applying for unemployment assistance for those living in Bolivar, DeSoto, Hinds, Humphreys, Madison, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tate and Washington counties is January 10, 2002.
Those living in the counties of Grenada, Lafayette, Leake, Scott and Tunica have until January 28, 2002, to apply.