ESSINGTON, Pa. -- Federal and state disaster officials remind Pennsylvanians that Sept. 9, 2004 is the deadline for filing Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims for Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties.
Persons living or working in a disaster-designated county whose jobs have been affected by severe storms and flooding that began Aug. 1 may be eligible for disaster unemployment benefits. If benefits are awarded, it can mean up to 26 weeks of assistance.
“People who have been unable to work because of the severe storms should contact their local unemployment office right away,” said State Coordinating Officer David Sanko. “The unemployment deadline is just a couple weeks away. We don’t want anyone to miss the chance to be considered for help.”
Disaster unemployment assistance is intended to help individuals who are not eligible for benefits under a state’s regular unemployment insurance program. People included in this category could be those who have lost their jobs, had their employment interrupted, or those unable to start work because of a major disaster. Benefits also may be available for those who cannot work because of a disaster-related injury and for farmers or other self-employed individuals.
“The deadline for disaster unemployment assistance is separate from the deadline to apply with FEMA,” said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer. "We don’t want people to be confused. The deadline to apply for disaster unemployment benefits is Sept. 9. The deadline to call 1-800-621-FEMA and apply for federal and state disaster assistance is Oct. 5. Mark your calendars."
To apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, you may also call 1-877-345-3382 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The speech- and hearing-impaired can call the TTY number at 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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.