LINCOLN, Neb. -- If the severe flooding in parts of Nebraska this summer affected your ability to work, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
To qualify, you must have worked or lived in one of the counties in the major disaster declaration by the President -- Boyd, Burt, Cass, Dakota, Dixon, Douglas, Knox, Sarpy and Washington -- and you must not be eligible for regular unemployment.
The DUA is a federally-funded program administered through the Nebraska Department of Labor to help workers whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to flooding between May 24 and Aug. 1, 2011.
Even those who don't normally qualify for unemployment insurance benefits, such as the self-employed, may be covered through the state-managed, federally-funded DUA program.
Applications for DUA must be filed with the Nebraska Department of Labor by Sept. 26, 2011.
To be eligible for DUA benefits, an individual must be unemployed as a result of the disaster. Those eligible may also include.
- Those who were self-employed.
- Individuals unable to reach their job because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented by doing so by the disaster.
- Individuals who were to commence employment but were prevented by the disaster.
- Individuals who became the "breadwinner," or major support for a household because of the death of the head of the household as a result of the disaster.
- Individuals who cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
- Those whose businesses lost a majority of their revenue or income from an entity that was damaged or closed by the government.
To file for DUA, individuals will need their Social Security number and the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer.
Applicants may be required to provide proof they were employed or self-employed at the time of the disaster in the affected counties, or that they were scheduled to begin a job or self-employment when the disaster occurred. Proof of employment can include pay stubs, vouchers or earnings statements. Proof of self-employment may include federal income tax form 1040 and other tax documents from the most recent tax year.
Individuals may generally receive up to 26 weeks of DUA benefits as long as the period of unemployment that continues is a result of the disaster.
Remember, DUA claims filed after the Sept. 26 may be ineligible for payment.
To apply, begin by calling the Nebraska Claims Center (NCC) at 402-458-2500, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Follow the automated prompts to continue through the claims process, and be prepared to wait during busy calling periods.
Additional information is available on the Nebraska Department of Labor website, www.dol.nebraska.gov.
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.