RESIDENTS IN THREE ADDITIONAL COUNTIES ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL DISASTER UMEMPLOYMENT FUNDS

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RESIDENTS IN THREE ADDITIONAL COUNTIES ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL DISASTER UMEMPLOYMENT FUNDS

Today WorkForce West Virginia Acting Executive Director Russell Fry announced that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits will be available to qualifying persons residing or working in Harrison, Preston and Taylor counties. These areas were given major disaster status by President Obama on April 18, 2012.

Claims need to be filed by May 21, 2012. The benefits cover self-employed workers not usually entitled to 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 following offices which serve the affected counties: Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Morgantown.

"Our staff is ready to help anyone who is eligible for these benefits," said Russell Fry, Acting Executive Director of WorkForce West Virginia. "We want to do everything we can to help them get back on their feet both in their homes and workplaces."

Those eligible for benefits in addition to individuals who lost their jobs directly due to the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides 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.

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 is available online at www.workforcewv.org.

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PRESS RELEASE: April 20, 2012