July 5, 2012-
Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been made available to the 11 Florida counties included in this week’s federal declaration for Individual Assistance to aid Floridians out of work due to Tropical Storm Debby. This federal funding is provided in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor to help residents of Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Franklin, Hernando, Highlands, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee and Wakulla counties recover from severe storms and flooding. More counties may become eligible in accordance with future federal declarations due to Debby. All claims must be made by August 6, 2012 to be eligible.
“The State Emergency Response Team is committed to ensuring that Floridians affected by Tropical Storm Debby receive the assistance they need to recover,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “Disaster Unemployment Assistance will provide financial support to residents whose lives and livelihoods were adversely impacted by this storm.”
DUA helps people who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular Reemployment Assistance benefits (formerly unemployment compensation benefits). The DUA program covers individuals who are self-employed and owners and workers of farms and ranches, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state reemployment assistance benefits.
“The effects of Tropical Storm Debby were felt by thousands of Floridians statewide, some of whom are now unable to go to work and receive a paycheck,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Hunting F. Deutsch. “DEO is eager to assist those eligible Floridians with getting back on their feet and allow them to provide for their families following disasters like this.”
Floridians eligible for DUA include those who meet the following federal requirements:
· Exhausted entitlement to state Reemployment Assistance benefits (formerly unemployment compensation benefits) and worked or lived in a county for which the disaster has been officially declared; and
· Became unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster; or
· Were unable to reach their place of employment as a direct result of the disaster; or
· Were scheduled to begin work and do not have a job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster; or
· Became the major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster; or
· Cannot work because of an injury caused directly by the disaster.
Claims must be made by August 6, 2012 to be eligible. DUA benefits are available to unemployed individuals for up to 26 weeks from the date of the disaster declaration. The 26-week assistance period for this weather event ends January 5, 2013. To apply for DUA, claimants should visit www.floridajobs.org/dua, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, and to apply, please visit www.floridajobs.org/dua.
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