SAN JUAN, PR -- Government of Puerto Rico and federal officials urged survivors unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by Hurricane Irene in Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Loíza, Luquillo and San Juan to apply for benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program, before October 3, 2011.
The federal disaster declaration signed by President Obama on August 27, 2011, extends the DUA program to those living or working in the municipalities of Aguas Buenas, Arroyo, Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Cidra, Coamo, Comerío, Fajardo, Gurabo, Humacao, Jayuya, Juncos, Las Piedras, Loíza, Luquillo, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Ponce, Río Grande, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Trujillo Alto, Vega Baja, Vieques and Villalba.
Survivors who worked or reside in these municipalities and are unemployed as a consequence of this disaster should go to the nearest, local Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources office or call 787-945-7900, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. Provide documents that may verify or confirm the revenues or wages the survivors could have received if the disaster had not occurred. Business owners must provide a copy of their Income Tax return for 2010.
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 scheduled to begin work, 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.
As the hurricane season continues, individuals and families should have their emergency kits and plans ready. Residents in vulnerable areas should remain aware of any hazardous situations in their communities, listen to local officials and follow their instructions, and learn more about emergency preparedness by visiting www.ready.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.