Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- Iowans in the 21 disaster-declared counties who have lost their jobs or suffered a loss of income because of the June floods may be eligible for a special federal/state disaster unemployment compensation program.
Steve Zimmerman, state coordinating officer for the Iowa Emergency Management Division, said Iowans may qualify for disaster unemployment compensation if they are:
- Unemployed as a direct consequence of the disaster.
- Self-employed, such as farmers, farm workers or trades people, who have lost income as a result of the floods.
- Small-business owners who have lost income.
- Individuals injured in the disaster.
- Anyone not eligible for standard state unemployment benefits, such as seasonal workers who has lost income because of the floods.
Iowa Workforce Development administers the federally-funded supplemental disaster unemployment program. Individual claims should be filed at the local Workforce Development Centers.
If you live in Allamakee, Benton, Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Muscatine, Scott, or Winneshiek County, your deadline for filing for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is July 29.
If you live in Des Moines, Henry, Lee or Louisa County, your deadline for filing for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is August 7.
"Loss of employment is adding insult to injury for those who have just suffered losses in a flood or other disaster," said Pete Martinasco, federal coordinating officer of recovery efforts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "We hope this program will provide another building block for folks trying to reconstruct their lives."
Martinasco and Zimmerman remind residents in the disaster-stricken counties that the necessary first step to obtain other forms of disaster assistance is to call the FEMA toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Persons with speech or hearing impairments should call 1-800-462-7585.