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Disaster Unemployment Help: DUA / UIP / DUI

Out of Work? Here’s Help: DUA /UIP / DUI

Deadline extended to file for flood job loss 

If you lost your job because of the August 28 flood, you have an extra few weeks to apply for the US Department of Labor’s Disaster Unemployment Insurance (DUI). Victims of Tropical Storm Irene in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster have until November 16 to apply.

You may qualify for DUA even though you would not normally be eligible for UI benefits. The first step for those affected is to call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124, or 1-877-358-5306 if you live out of state.

(update above posted 10/17/11)
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Individuals in Delaware County who have become unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee, may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) relief. You may qualify for DUA even though you would not normally be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

The first step for those affected is to call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124 (or 1-877-358-5306 if you live out of state) by OCTOBER 3. Answer the questions to indicate that you lost your job as a direct result of the effects of Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.

Self-employed people and farmers may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Insurance (DUI)  if they are performing less than their normal, full-time services and earning wages less than $405 a week.

Employers also have more time – through October 31 – to pay employer unemployment insurance (UI) taxes.

Fact sheets and application forms can be found on the Dept. of Labor website: http://www.labor.ny.gov/announce/2011-irene-lee-services.shtm. A DOL representative is also stationed at Belleayre Mountain Flood Recovery Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to answer any questions.

Examples of reasons for unemployment that may make a person eligible to receive DUI:

  • 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 you can’t work because of the disaster.
  • Your transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
  • You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the affected area, and you cannot do that because of the disaster.
  • You were about to begin working, but could not 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 down as a direct result of the disaster.

The UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM and the DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM are of interest to many folks who find themselves without a job, says Larry Simmons of the NYS Department of Labor.  Larry and colleagues staff the DOL post at the Belleayre Flood Recovery Center, and are there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, likely through early October.

The Unemployment Insurance Program is for people who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing and able to work.  To file by phone, call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-209-8124 (for New York State residents) or 1-877-358-5306 (for out of state residents) from 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday.  Temporarily the Telephone Claims center will be open also on Saturdays and Sundays and have extended the hours until 8 pm.  It is important to file promptly as a delay could cost a person benefits.  If a person is hearing impaired who is being assisted by another person, call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370; however, if a person uses TTY/TDD, call a relay operator first at 1-800-662-1220 and ask for the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.

People can also file their claim online at www.labor.ny.gov

The other program is Disaster Unemployment Insurance (DUA).  This is a Federally funded program that provides payments to people in a Federally-declared disaster area who have lost work or income due to the disaster.  NYS Dept of Labor determines if claims filed under this program are valid.  There are different eligibility requirements for DUA than regular Unemployment Insurance.  You may qualify even if you are self employed, and even if you do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance.

To apply for DUA, you must first file for regular unemployment insurance by calling the NYS Dept of Labor at 1-888-209-8124 or 1-877-358-5306 (if you live out of state).  Answer the questions to indicate that you lost your job as a direct result of the effects of Hurricane Irene.  Applications must be submitted by 10/3/11.

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