The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits are now available to help those Vermonters left jobless as a result of the severe flooding damage that occurred in Washington and Caledonia counties during May 26, 2011 to May 27, 2011. The disaster assistance period awarded for Washington and Caledonia Counties began May 26, 2011 and ends January 7, 2012. The filing deadline for individuals deemed eligible for assistance is August 15, 2011. The first payable week will be the week ending June 4, 2011.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) had previously declared Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans Counties as official disaster areas as a result of storms that occurred during April 23 to May 9, 2011. The filing deadline for individuals deemed eligible for assistance in these seven counties is July 25, 2011. The first payable week will be the week ending April 30, 2011.
Under these federal declarations, individuals living, working, or scheduled to work in the identified counties may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance benefits.
An individual must be continuously unemployed as a direct result of the disaster in order to continue receiving Disaster Unemployment Assistance and, if eligible, he or she can collect benefits for the weeks which they meet the necessary criteria. Workers who experienced temporary job loss as a direct result of the disaster, and who do not qualify for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
Examples that may make a person eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance include:
· You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.
· Your workplace was damaged, destroyed, or not in operation because of the disaster.
· Your transportation to work is not available as a result of the disaster.
· You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the affected area, and cannot do that because of the disaster.
· You were about to begin working, but the job no longer exists because of the disaster.
· You derived most of your income from areas affected by the disaster, whether you worked for yourself or for an employer, and your business is adversely impacted as a direct result of the disaster.
Please call the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Claims Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3330 if you are an unemployed worker or self-employed individual who lived, worked, or was scheduled to work in a county which has been declared a disaster area by the federal government. When you call please be sure to inform the Customer Service Representative that you are calling to seek Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits.
For more information, please visit www.labor.vermont.gov.
Source: Vermont Department of Labor, 7-15-2011