The United States has seen some horrible disasters in 2018 alone. Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael have ravaged the east coast, particularly Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Wildfires in California have burned hundreds of thousands of acres, leaving thousands of people without homes. Many have died from these disasters.
In many cases, companies are destroyed, leaving employees with no place to work. These workers are now unemployed, and some are not eligible for unemployment benefits. So, what happens now? How will they earn income to pay for bills and daily expenses?
Fortunately, those who are unemployed due to a natural disaster may be eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), also known as Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance. The disaster must be declared as such by the president. Hurricane Michael was declared a disaster on October 11 in Florida and October 14 in Georgia. DUA benefits became available in affected counties.
Eligibility for DUA
To qualify for DUA, two requirements must be met. First, the person must not be able to work due to a major disaster. In addition, the person must not qualify for unemployment benefits from any state. Those who would qualify include those who are self-employed, those whose place of employment was destroyed, those who can not reach their place of employment due to the disaster, those who are injured and can not work due to the disaster and those who were scheduled to start work but now cannot due to the disaster.
In addition, workers who have exhausted all their unemployment insurance benefits and are still unable to work due to the disaster may be eligible to collect DUA benefits.
If a person is eligible for DUA, he or she must look for work and accept suitable work. For every week that a person collects DUA benefits, he or she must prove that his or her unemployment is directly due to the disaster.
Benefits are paid weekly and are equal to the amount that you would receive if you were receiving unemployment benefits. In Florida, DUA benefits range from $124 to $275 a week. In Georgia, the benefits range from $145 to $330. The benefit lasts for up to 26 weeks.
Filing a Claim
A DUA claim can be filed via telephone or online. The process will depend on the state. In Florida, you can file a claim online at the Florida Jobs website or call 1-800-385-3920. In Georgia, the recommended process is to file for regular state unemployment insurance online at GA Department of Labor. The process can also be done in person at a Georgia DOL Career Center. If a person applies for unemployment insurance but is deemed not eligible, that person will be notified when he or she can apply for DUA benefits.
Contact a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer
A natural disaster can affect a person in various ways. It can cause a person to lose a home or job. A person can also become seriously injured or killed due to a flood, fire, hurricane or other weather-related events.
It is important that you receive the benefits you deserve during this difficult time. The experienced New York discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help you with your claim. Get started by calling (347) 464-8694 and scheduling a free consultation.