Cridersville, OH -- Residents who lost work as a result of the July flooding may be eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits, state and federal officials said today.
"The DUA program, which is administered by the state, extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster," Richard Roman, deputy state coordinating officer, said. "The program is specifically designed to assist those who are otherwise ineligible for unemployment benefits through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services."
The availability of this program was triggered by President George W. Bush's disaster declarations for parts of Ohio. Applicants have 30 days from the declaration to apply. The program extends to those living or working in the following declared counties:
|County||Deadline to Apply|
|Auglaize, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Shelby, and Van Wert||August 14, 2003|
|Crawford and Pike||August 28, 2003|
|Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit and Trumbull||September 2, 2003|
|Carroll, Cuyahoga, Columbiana and Stark||September 4, 2003|
The program is 100 percent funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"The program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster," said Ron Sherman, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "It helps them make ends meet until they can get back to work or resume their customary employment."
Eligible persons include: self-employed agricultural and hourly workers; self-employed business people; business owners unable to provide services; and other unemployed workers who are out of work as a direct result of the disaster and who do not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefits.
For more information, Ohio residents may call 1-877-644-6562 (877-OHIO-JOB) from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. When applicants call to apply, they should have available their Social Security number, driver license or state ID number, and earnings and employment history for the last 18 months.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.