Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadline Approaching for Hurricane Ike victims
The last day to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1791-DR for individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to Hurricane Ike between Sunday, September 7, and Thursday, October 2, 2008.
Individuals affected in Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller and Washington counties can apply.
DUA is available to individuals who:
• were working at the time of the disaster or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, and can supply proof of work to TWC,
• can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster,
• establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income,
• do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state,
• cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster, or
• who became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
To file for DUA, call the nearest Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Tele-Center from Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, through Friday, December 12, 2008, or call toll-free at (800) 939-6631. Claimants may apply online at http://www.texasworkforce.org, and should specify that their claim is disaster-related. Claimants also can e-mail TWC at UIHelp@twc.state.tx.us.
Often, business owners who are self-employed are unaware of potential benefits to which they may be entitled. If individuals are self-employed, but have lost all or part of their livelihood as a direct result of Hurricane Ike, they may be eligible for benefits. They must provide federal income tax forms (Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F) to receive DUA benefits.
Individuals will need their Social Security number, a copy of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, or documentation that prove they were working or were self-employed when the disaster occurred. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.
Applications filed after Friday, December 12, will be considered late, unless individuals provide good cause for filing after the deadline. DUA payments are retroactive to the week beginning Sunday, September 14, and the last week of available compensation is the week ending Saturday, March 21, 2009. DUA is available to individuals as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.
Additional information is available at http://www.texasworkforce.org. Reemployment services are available through Texas Workforce Centers or by accessing http://www.WorkInTexas.com for information.