COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans who lost work because of the spring flooding may be able to collect Disaster Unemployment Assistance, but the deadline to apply is imminent for some, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 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,” said Dale W. Shipley, state coordinating officer and executive director for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA). “The program is specifically designed to help those who are otherwise ineligible for Ohio state unemployment benefits.”
For residents of the first eight counties declared eligible for aid, the deadline to apply for unemployment assistance is Tuesday, July 6. Applicants should call or visit the local office of the Department of Job and Family Services. Those eight counties are Athens, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Noble, Perry and Summit.
“The program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster,” said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery. “It helps people 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 out of work because of the disaster who do not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefits.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and costs. Ohio EMA coordinates homeland security funding, weapons of mass destruction training, anti-terrorism planning and training, and assists local and state agencies determine homeland strategies and priorities.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.