MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabamians who have lost their source of income due to Hurricane Ivan may be able to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits even if they would not normally be eligible for state unemployment compensation.
“The self-employed are often the first to feel economic loss from a disaster, yet they are not eligible for state unemployment compensation. This program can help them recover some of their lost income,” said Michael Hall, federal coordinating officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Federal disaster assistance extends income compensation to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost income as a result of a federal disaster declaration. Generally, persons who are eligible for regular unemployment are not eligible for DUA, but they may qualify for DUA if state unemployment benefits are exhausted.
“Replacing lost income jump-starts recovery on the individual level,” said State Coordinating Officer Bruce Baughman. “The state is committed to working with our federal partners to provide Alabamians with the means necessary to begin to recover.”
Residents may apply for DUA by calling the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations at 1-866-234-5382. DUA services are FEMA-funded and administered through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations’ statewide network of Unemployment Compensation Call Centers. More information on DUA is available at www.dir.alabama.gov.
To be eligible for benefits, a person must live or work in one of the 53 Alabama counties designated as disaster areas.
Deadlines for the counties are as follows:
October 15, 2004 -- Baldwin, Butler, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Geneva, Mobile, Monroe and Washington
October 22, 2004 -- Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chilton, Chocktaw, Clay, Coosa, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Marshall, Marion, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Wilcox and Winston.
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.