Texas workers who are unemployed because of Hurricane Ike have until Nov. 12 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
The deadline for applying, which normally ends 30 days after the disaster declaration date, has been extended. This makes assistance available to the five newly designated counties - Gregg, Harrison, Rusk, Shelby and Smith - as well as the 29 originally designated counties.
To be eligible for DUA under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1791-DR, which covers Hurricane Ike, applicants must:
· Have worked or been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster, no longer have a job, a place to work in the area or could not get to work because of the disaster damage.
· Have been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster
· Have become the head of the household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster.
Self-employed business owners who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of Hurricane Ike also may be eligible for disaster benefits.
To apply, workers can go online to www.texasworkforce.org
El Paso: 915-832-6400
Fort Worth: 817-420-1600
San Antonio: 210-258-6600
Toll-free from elsewhere: 1-800-939-6631
Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If applicants cannot get through immediately on the phone lines, they may e-mail their names and phone numbers to UIHelp@twc.state.tx.us
To receive benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day of application. Required documentation includes the worker's Social Security number, a copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs or documentation showing they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred.
Reemployment services are available through Texas Workforce Centers or by going online to www.WorkInTexas.com
The DUA program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. To date, more than 10,900 Texans have applied for assistance and more than $640,000 has been dispersed to eligible applicants.
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