Hurricane Ike Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadline Near
Texas Workforce Press Release:
October 7, 2008
for Workers in 29 Counties Affected by Hurricane Ike
Workers encouraged to file online by Wednesday, October 15, deadline
AUSTIN – The last day to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is Wednesday, October 15, 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, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller and Washington counties can apply.
DUA is available to individuals who:
- worked or were self-employed in or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment,
- 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 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Standard Time, through Friday, October 10, 2008, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m weekdays thereafter through Wednesday, October 15, or call toll-free at (800) 939-6631. Claimants may apply online at http://www.texasworkforce.org, but 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 and documentation to support they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.
Applications filed after Wednesday, October 15, will be considered late, unless the individual provides 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.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org