CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Residents who are unemployed as a direct result of the recent tornadoes and flooding may be eligible for weekly benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program, state and federal officials said today.
But the deadlines for applying for the benefits are coming up. For the presidentially declared disaster of March 16, the deadline is April 23. For the disaster declared on March 22, the deadline is April 25.
“The DUA program extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster,” Jimmy Gianato, West Virginia 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 disaster declarations for parts of West Virginia and extends to those living or working in any of the four counties eligible for individual assistance. They are Marion, Logan, Lincoln and Wayne counties.
“This program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster” Gianato said. “It will help them make ends meet until they can get back to work.”
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 storms and flooding and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but it is administered through the West Virginia Department of Labor.
To apply for DUA, go to your nearest Workforce West Virginia One Stop Office. Have your Social Security number, earnings from your most recent tax year and employment history available. Office locations are available at www.wvcommerce.org and www.workforcewv.org. By phone, find your local Workforce office by dialing 211.
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.