COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Individuals who are out of work as a direct result of the multiple storms that began with Hurricane Frances September 6 and continued through October 11 may be eligible for weekly benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program.
Workers in Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter, Williamsburg and York counties have until Monday, November 8, 2004, to apply. Workers in Berkeley, Charleston and Georgetown Counties, which were recently added to the President's federal disaster declaration, have until Monday, November 29 to apply.
The DUA program extends coverage to people who are not eligible for regular unemployment. Those who may apply include farmers, self-employed people; those working in the affected areas at the time of the disaster and others whose jobs were affected as a result of the storms.
"It's important that anyone who thinks they might be eligible, apply right away," said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. "Monday, November 8th and Monday, November 9th will be the last day applications are accepted and we want to help as many people as possible."
Applications can be obtained by visiting the nearest South Carolina Employment Security Commission "One-Stop" or "Work-Force" office. To get information about the closest office, check a local phone-book or online at www.sces.org . Individuals can also call (803) 737-3071. Applicants will need: a social security number; the name, address and phone number of their last employer; the dates they worked there; and photo ID. Self-employed applicants should provide information about earnings from their previous federal tax year.
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.