Residents in 16 Additional Counties Eligible to Apply for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

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Residents in 16 Additional Counties Eligible to Apply for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Charleston, W.Va. -- Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits will be available to qualifying persons residing or working in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Pocahontas, Roane, Tyler, Webster, and Wood counties. 

This announcement amends the disaster declared by Governor Tomblin and President Obama on July 23, 2012 to include these additional counties for individual assistance.

New claims for DUA need to be filed by November 26, 2012.  Those eligible for benefits, in addition to individuals who lost their jobs directly due to the severe storms and straight-line winds, may also include: (1) individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster, (2) individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster, (3) individuals who became the breadwinner or major support for a household because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster, or (4) individuals who cannot work or perform services in self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.

Unemployment is a direct result of the major disaster if the unemployment resulted from: (1) the physical damage or destruction of the place of employment; (2) the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or (3) lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster area closed by the federal, state, or local government.

The benefits cover self-employed workers not usually entitled to regular unemployment insurance, including farmers.   People applying for DUA need to provide proof of past earnings, such as business records or bank statements and their most recent income tax form at the time they file their claim.  Any WorkForce West Virginia One Stop Office can accept DUA claims, including the Beckley, Charleston, Elkins, Greenbrier Valley, Huntington, Logan, Mercer County, Parkersburg, Summersville, Welch and Wheeling offices which serve the affected counties.

“The destruction of the storm was far reaching – encompassing residents as well as the workforce in these counties,” said Russell Fry, acting executive of WorkForce West Virginia.  “If you live or work in one of these counties and have been unemployed due to the severe storm and straight-line winds that occurred beginning June 29, 2012, you should apply for these federal benefits.”

In addition to assistance filing a DUA claim, WorkForce West Virginia One Stop Offices offer reemployment services, including testing, counseling and job placement. More information, including local office locations, is available online at www.workforcewv.org or by calling 1-800-252-5617.