Richmond, VA -- People unable to work because of the severe storms and flooding that occurred in Southwest Virginia March 17-20, may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.
Self-employed and unemployed workers who are not covered by regular state unemployment insurance programs may be eligible for the assistance under the major disaster declaration made by President Bush on April 2. Under this program, benefits of up to $368 per week may be paid to eligible individuals until they are able to return to work.
Nine jurisdictions were designated disaster areas including the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and the city of Norton.
Disaster unemployment assistance covers those who:
- Are unable to work because their place of employment was put out of operation or they were unable to travel to their workplace because of the effects of the flood damage;
- Are self employed but are prevented from working by the effects of the flood damage;
- Have become the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster; or
- Cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
Anyone filing for disaster unemployment assistance should visit the nearest Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) field office. The deadline for applying is May 11, 2002. Applicants should bring their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the calendar year of 2001.