Birmingham, AL -- Alabama residents who have lost work as a direct result of last month's severe storms and tornadoes and who do not qualify for state jobless benefits may be eligible for unemployment assistance under a special program, disaster recovery officials said today.
Triggered by the November 14 Presidential declaration naming 29 Alabama counties as disaster areas, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administered by the State of Alabama.
"The DUA program extends coverage to many people who would otherwise be ineligible for unemployment compensation under the regular state program," Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Butler said.
State Coordinating Officer Lee Helms said those who may be eligible include self-employed persons, farm workers, farm owners and others not covered by regular unemployment assistance. "DUA benefits can help these people make ends meet until they can get back to work," he said.
Disaster unemployment claims may be filed by calling 866-234-5382. The final date to apply is December 16, 2002.
The 29 affected counties are Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Cullman, Dale, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.
DUA services are administered by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations through its network of Unemployment Call Centers across the state.
For those without access to a phone, a representative will be available to assist them in filing a claim at the Walker County Disaster Recovery Center in Jasper (Manchester Community Center, 4625 Hwy. 195), open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Tuesday, December 3, 2002.