Wise, VA -- People unable to work because of the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that occurred in Virginia from April 28 through May 3 may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.
Self-employed and unemployed workers who live or work in the designated disaster areas and not covered by regular state unemployment insurance programs may be eligible for this assistance under the major disaster declaration by President Bush on May 5. This program may provide benefits of up to $368.00 per week to eligible individuals until they are able to return to work.
The jurisdictions designated disaster areas were Bedford, Campbell, Cumberland, Greensville, Prince Edward and Shenandoah counties and the independent city of Bedford.
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 due to the effects of the flood damage;
- Are self-employed but are prevented from working due to 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 result of the disaster; or
- Cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
Anyone interested in filing for disaster unemployment assistance should visit the nearest Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) field office. The deadline for applying is June 21, 2002. Applicants should bring their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the calendar year of 2001. The application deadline for previously declared Buchanan and Tazewell counties remains June 10.