Lynchburg, VA -- Individuals who may have lost work because of the severe storms and flooding in Southwest Virginia Feb.15-28 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 assistance under the disaster declaration made by President Bush on March 27. Under this program, benefits may be paid to eligible individuals for work time lost due to the storms and flooding.
The jurisdictions designated as disaster assistance areas are Buchanan, Dickenson, Mongtomery, Russell, Tazewell and Wise counties, and the cities of Norton, Roanoke and Salem.
Disaster unemployment assistance covers those whose places of business/employment were affected and, as a direct result of the disaster:
- Lost work, or continue to be out of work, because of damage to their places of employment;
- Were unable to travel to their workplace;
- Are self-employed but were, or continue to be, prevented from working;
- Have become the breadwinners or major support of a household because the heads of the households died because of the storms or flooding; or
- Cannot work because of storm or flood-related injuries.
Anyone believing they are affected by the disaster should visit the nearest Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) field office. Applicants should have their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the calendar year of 2002.
The deadline for applying for unemployment assistance is May 15, 2003.