ESSINGTON, Pa. -- Individuals in Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties who are out of work as a direct result of the storms and flooding on Aug. 1 may be eligible for weekly benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. The special unemployment program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
Those who need more information or wish to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance can call 1-877-345-3382 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The speech- and hearing-impaired can call the TTY number at 1-888-334-4046 or visit the local Disaster Recovery Center at 6904 Market St. in Upper Darby for more information. Applicants should bring their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the calendar year 2003. Those who wish to make a DUA claim must file an application before Sept. 9.
DUA benefits may be available for those who:
- Are unable to work because their place of employment was put out of operation or who are unable to travel to their work place due to the disaster and are not eligible for regular unemployment;
- Are self-employed but are prevented from working due to the disaster (must provide federal income tax forms, schedules SE and C or F or other proof of self-employment);
- Have become the primary source of income or major support of a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster;
- Cannot work because of an injury or illness caused as a direct result of the disaster.
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.