AUSTIN, Texas -- Individuals who worked in Kerr County and whose work was disrupted by extreme wildfire threats beginning Nov. 27, 2005, may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA 1624-DR. The DUA program is administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the U.S. Department of Labor.
The claims filing deadline for those who lived or worked in Kerr County is May 31, 2006.
Eligibility for help under the disaster declaration includes those who:
- Have worked or were scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster no longer have a job, a place to work in the declared disaster area or are unable to get to the place of work because of disaster damage; or
- Have been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster; or
- Have become the new head of household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster.
Business owners who are self-employed and have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of this disaster also may be eligible for benefits. Farm workers and others who are usually ineligible for TWC unemployment benefits may also qualify.
To receive DUA benefits, individuals must provide documentation indicating an employment record at the time of the disaster or verification of the weeks the applicant was scheduled to work. TWC officials understand that because of property losses, some individuals may not have necessary information readily available. Each claim is considered individually.
If you believe you may be eligible for assistance, you may file online at www.texasworkforce.org or call the TWC Tele-Center network at one of the numbers listed below Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to talk with a representative or file a claim.
Austin local: (512) 340-4300
Dallas local: (214) 252-1200
El Paso local: (915) 832-6400
Fort Worth local: (817) 420-1600
Houston local: (281) 983-1100
McAllen local: (956) 984-4700
San Antonio local: (210) 258-6600
Others call toll free: (800) 939-6631
Texas Workforce Commission: (512) 463-8942
When applying for benefits, you should have available, when possible, your Social Security number and the name and address of your last employer or prospective employer.
Job seekers may visit Texas Workforce Centers for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, resume and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC's online job-search engine, www.WorkInTexas.com.
Workforce center services for employers include job posting and placement services, up-to-date information on the labor market and emerging occupations, and assistance with recruiting, retention, training, tax and hiring incentives. Employers can recruit new staff through www.WorkInTexas.com. Workforce centers also can offer employers the use of center office equipment and space when they are opening a new building in their respective areas.
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