PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Workers and the self-employed whose jobs were impacted by mid-April storms and flooding have only one week remaining to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
“The DUA program, which is administered by the state, extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster,” said Lt. George Georgeles, state coordinating officer. “The program is specifically designed to assist those who are otherwise ineligible for New Jersey state unemployment benefits.”
Those interested should apply through the New Jersey Division of Unemployment Insurance Reemployment Call Center at Union City - (201) 601-4100; Freehold - (732) 761-2020; Cumberland – (856) 507-2340. The deadline to file a claim is June 11.
The availability of this program was triggered by President Bush’s April 26 disaster declaration for parts of New Jersey and extends to those living or working in any of the 12 counties eligible for individual assistance. These counties are Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Union. The program is 100-percent funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster,” said Peter Martinasco, federal coordinating officer. “It helps victims make ends meet until they can get back to work.”
DUA covers self-employed people as well as those who work for others. A worker’s unemployment will be considered to have been caused by the storm if the worker no longer has a job or is unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of storm damage. This also includes individuals who were scheduled to start work, but do not have the job or are unable to reach it because of damage caused by the storm.
Self-employed individuals could be eligible for DUA if they can no longer perform any regular services as a self-employed individual, or are unable to reach where the services are performed, or were scheduled to start regular services but are unable to do so because of the disaster, or cannot perform services as a self-employed individual because of injury caused by the storm.
FEMA and NJOEM work together to coordinate the federal and state governments’ roles in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.