23 Florida Counties Now Approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (09/29/08)

For Immediate Release 
September 29, 2008   

Contact:
Robby Cunningham
(850) 245-7130, (850) 728-3996

23 Florida Counties Now Approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

~Citizens in affected counties eligible to receive more than $7.7 million~

Tallahassee, FL – Pursuant to Governor Charlie Crist’s requests for federal individual assistance, the Agency for Workforce Innovation has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to help the people of Florida recover from Tropical Storm Fay.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance helps individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits. 

Effective immediately, the federal government has approved DUA for four counties including Alachua, Gadsden, Liberty and Martin, in addition to the 19 previously approved.  Floridians in the following 23 counties are now eligible to receive more than $7.7 million in DUA: Alachua, Baker, Brevard, Collier, Duval, Gadsden, Glades, Hendry, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia and Wakulla. Funding may be requested for additional counties as further damage assessments are made.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that every Floridian affected by Tropical Storm Fay receives the aid necessary to recover,” said Monesia T. Brown, Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation.  “Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides support to citizens in 23 counties whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by this storm”

Many workers will be eligible for the state’s regular unemployment compensation program; those who are not may be eligible for DUA.  The DUA program also covers self-employed individuals, owners and workers of farms and ranches, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state unemployment compensation.

WHO CAN APPLY
Individuals who:

  • Have exhausted entitlement to state unemployment compensation;and
  • Have been working or residing in a county for which the disaster has been officially declared; and either: 
  • Become unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster; or
  • Are 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
  • Have become 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.

HOW TO APPLY
Individuals may:

Information required when filing:

  • Social Security number (SSN) 
  • Alien registration number and expiration date (if a non-U.S. citizen) 
  • Name and address of most recent employer(s) 
  • Name and address of employer and date work was to begin (for those scheduled to begin work but could not, due to the disaster)  
  • If self-employed, you must have proof of self-employment, to include:

    1. State or federal tax returns
    2. Financial statements
    3. Bank records of accounts or 1099 Forms
    4. Documentation necessary to support a claim may be faxed to 850-921-3938 after filing (applicant’s SSN should appear on all documents)

WHEN TO APPLY

  • No later thanSeptember 29, 2008 for DUA claims in: Brevard, Hendry, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties;
  • No later than October 2, 2008 for DUA claims in: Duval, Lee, Leon, Seminole and Wakulla Counties;
  • No later than October 15, 2008for DUA claims in: Baker, Collier, Glades, Jefferson, Lake, Marion, Nassau, Orange and Polk Counties;
  • No later than October 29, 2008for DUA claims in: Alachua, Gadsden, Liberty and Martin Counties
  • NOTE: 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 Tropical Storm Fay ends February 21, 2009. 

National Emergency Grant - The Agency also recently announced receipt of a National Emergency Grant, providing up to $20 million to help create jobs and provide local humanitarian assistance in the wake of Tropical Storm Fay.  Follow this link for more information.

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