ALBANY, NY -- Residents who are unemployed as a direct result of the recent flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Irene may be eligible for weekly benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program, state and federal officials announced today.
"The DUA program extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster," Andrew X. Feeney, state coordinating officer, said. "It is specifically designed to assist those who are otherwise ineligible for state unemployment benefits."
The availability of this program was initiated by President Obama's August 31 disaster declaration for parts of New York State and extends to those living or working in any of the 20 counties eligible for individual assistance. They are: Albany, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, and Westchester counties.
"This program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster," said Philip E. Parr, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "It will help them make ends meet until they can get back to work."
To apply for DUA, call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124 or 1-877-358-5306 if you live out of state. Have your Social Security number, earnings from your most recent tax year and employment history available when you call. The deadline to apply for DUA is October 3, 2011.
You may be eligible to apply for DUA if:
- You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.
- Your workplace was damaged or destroyed.
- Your transportation to work is not available.
- You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the affected area.
- You were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster.
- You derived most of your income from areas affected by the hurricane and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster.
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