CHARLESTON — The deadline is approaching to sign up for disaster unemployment benefits in Logan County.
Logan County residents who are unemployed as a direct result of the March 15 flash flooding may be eligible for weekly benefit payments under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, state and federal officials said today in a press release.
But the deadlines for applying for the benefits are coming up. For the presidentially-declared disaster of March 15, the deadline is April 25. President Obama made the disaster declaration for Logan County on March 22.
“The DUA program extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster,” Jimmy Gianato, West Virginia state coordinating officer, said in the press release. “It is specifically designed to assist those who are otherwise ineligible for state unemployment benefits.”
The availability of this program was initiated by President Obama’s disaster declarations for parts of West Virginia and extends to those living or working in any of the four counties eligible for individual assistance. They are Marion, Logan, Lincoln and Wayne counties. Logan County’s disaster declaration covers the March 15 flash flooding that rolled through Mud Fork, Mount Gay, Verdunville and Coal Branch after several inches of water fell in just an hour, causing widespread damage to homes and property.
The heavy downpour caused severe flooding in those communities, as well as mudslides and landslides. Nearly 300 homes and businesses were damaged and more than 1,000 people affected by the flash flooding.
“This program is designed to help those whose employment was interrupted by the disaster,” Gianato said. “It will help them make ends meet until they can get back to work.”
Flood victims may be eligible to apply for DUA if: You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed; your workplace was damaged or destroyed; your transportation to work is not available; you cannot get to your job because you must travel through the affected area; you were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster; or you derived most of your income from areas affected by the storms and flooding and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster, the press release said.
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but it is administered through the West Virginia Department of Labor, according to the press release.
To apply for DUA, go to the nearest Workforce West Virginia One Stop Office. Applicants need to have their Social Security number, earnings from the most recent tax year and employment history available. Office locations are available at www.wvcommerce.org and www.workforcewv.org. By phone, find the local Workforce office by dialing 211.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.