HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Disasters are disruptive, creating challenges that continue long after the initial cleanup.
People in DeKalb, Marshall and Walker counties affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that struck the state in late April may find they are still struggling with a loss of income or disaster-related legal problems.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with other state agencies and private organizations to help people deal with such complications caused directly by the declared disaster.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Workers in the three counties with a federal disaster declaration may be eligible for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to compensate for loss of income directly related to the April storms. Unlike state unemployment insurance, DUA provides benefits to self-employed business people, farmers, commission-paid employees, and others not typically covered by the state unemployment insurance program.
The last day to apply for disaster unemployment benefits in DeKalb and Marshall counties is June 3. People in Walker County have until June 9. People who think they may be eligible for benefits should call 866-234-5382 or visit the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations website at www.dir.alabama.gov to be directed to the nearest career center.
Disaster Legal Services
People in those same counties may also qualify for free legal help for disaster-related issues such as landlord-tenant disputes, insurance claims, unemployment benefits, consumer law and housing law.
The service is provided by the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association and FEMA.
Apply for legal services by calling, toll-free, 800-354-6154.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is Alabama's coordinating agency for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Learn more at www.ema.alabama.gov and follow the agency on Twitter (@AlabamaEMA).
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.