FEMA Offers Assistance For Loss Of Property & Wages
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Available
Release Date: September 3, 2011
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.
Residents and businesses in declared disaster areas, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, are encouraged to register for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov , by web enabled mobile device at www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss can use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. As of 8 a.m. today, more than 43,000 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for assistance.
In New York, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open, and more centers are scheduled to open soon in other hard-hit areas. DRCs are locations where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. As more residents continue to return to their homes, FEMA is working with other declared states to open more centers. Contact your local emergency management office for more information on locations and hours. As power is restored, DRC locations and hours will also be available online at www.fema.gov/drclocator. Check back regularly, as locations are frequently updated.