SANTA FE, N.M. -- Dona Ana County residents who are unemployed as a result of the storms and floods between July 26 and Sept. 18, 2006 have until October 7 to file a Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) claim.
"So far, my staff has assisted nearly three hundred Hatch area residents," said New Mexico's Labor Secretary Conroy Chino. "We anticipate a steady flow of claimants to continue through the deadline. We are also providing employment services which include job placement, training, and skill assessments. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is helping the people of Hatch and Dona Ana County get back on their feet and back to work."
To be eligible for DUA, applicants must have worked or been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster no longer have a job, a place to work in the area, or could not get to work because of disaster damage or have been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster.
Self-employed business owners who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of the storms and flooding also may be eligible for benefits. To learn if they qualify, applicants can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired.
To apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance please call the New Mexico Department of Labor at (505) 841-4000. Claims may also be filed at 112 Halsell in Hatch between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The DUA program is administered by the New Mexico Department of Labor and funded by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the U.S. Department of Labor.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.