Gulfport, MS -- People who live or work in the seven disaster-declared Mississippi counties and are unable to work as a direct result of the severe weather that occurred September 23 through October 6, 2002, may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, according to Mississippi Emergency Management Agency's Leon Shaifer, the state official in charge of long-term recovery.
The seven Mississippi counties named in the presidential disaster declaration as being eligible for individual disaster assistance are Amite, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Pike and Stone.
Self-employed and unemployed workers who are not covered by regular state unemployment insurance programs may apply for this federally funded, state-administered assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Federal Coordinating Officer, Michael Bolch, added, "Anyone unemployed because of Tropical Storm Isidore should visit and file their claim at one of four designated Mississippi Employment Security Commission offices."
The locations and phone numbers of the four claims centers are:
|Biloxi Claims Center
2306 Pass Road
Phone: (228) 388-1212
|Gulfport Claims Center
2229 22nd Street
Phone: (228) 863-0400
|Pascagoula Claims Center
4111 Amonett Street
Phone: (228) 762-3726
|McComb Claims Center
416 Marion Avenue
Phone: (601) 249-2521
Victims must apply for this program by November 1, and may qualify for benefits of up to $210 per week.
Disaster unemployment assistance covers persons who:
- Are unable to work because their place of employment was put out of operation, or were unable to travel to their workplace due to the effects of storm damage.
- Are self-employed but are prevented from working due to storm damage.
- Have become the breadwinner, or major support of a household because the head of the household died as a result of a disaster.
- Cannot work because of an injury resulting directly from the disaster.
- Farmers and self-employed people who are normally not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits may also qualify.