FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentuckians seeking disaster-related unemployment benefits in the wake of a series of severe storms and floods that raked the state between May 26 and June 18 should be aware that application deadlines are rapidly approaching and they should register as soon as possible.
Workers who lost jobs or income due to the disaster, including farmers, the self-employed and others who normally cannot get unemployment benefits, may be eligible for assistance through the federally-funded, state-administered Disaster Unemployment Assistance program.
“Farmers and the self-employed are often the first to feel such losses, yet they are not eligible for state unemployment compensation” said Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) “This program may help them, as well as others who are unemployed because of the disaster, recover some of what they have lost,” Bolch said.
Those registering for this assistance must have worked in one of the counties that were designated as part of the disaster area, though they may live outside the designated counties. Application deadlines are set at 30-days after the federal declaration for each county resulting in differing deadlines for various counties.
Applicants who were employed in the original 66 declared counties have until July 17 to file.
The deadline will be July 25 for applicants who were employed in Bath, Fleming, Hancock, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Robertson counties.
The August deadline for applicants employed in Boyd, Carter, Jackson and Greenup counties will be announced shortly.
To register, workers who lost income should visit the nearest office of the Kentucky Department for Employment Services.
Applicants must document their pre-disaster employment and earnings at one of those state unemployment offices to determine if they are eligible.
The self-employed must provide a copy of their 2003 tax return.
The benefits are administered using the same procedures as the state unemployment program.
To apply for all other types of disaster assistance, residents should register using FEMA’s toll-free telephone number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
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.