Deadline extended for filing Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 23, 2005

REGION-Unemployed workers in 10 counties declared disaster areas as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina now have until Nov. 30 to file for benefits under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program according to Phyllis Kennedy, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Relations.

Kennedy said benefits were being made available to persons who had either lost their jobs because of Hurricane Katrina or were unable to work because of the effects of the storm.

“DUA benefits are available to persons who work or live in those counties and become unemployed, or could not engage in their customary employment as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina,” Kennedy said.

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Several Black Belt Counties fall under the deadline extension including Greene Hale and Sumter Counties. Other area counties declared disasters include Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, Pickens, Tuscaloosa and Washington.

Claims for state unemployment compensation benefits are not eligible for DUA, but the claimant may qualify for DUA if state unemployment compensation benefits are exhausted.

Self-employed individuals will be requested to provide a copy of their 2004 income tax records. Louisiana and Mississippi Hurricane Katrina evacuees residing in Alabama may also use this same number to file a claim against wages from their state. Alabama will send that information electronically back to the state of origin.

Already, several individuals from Alabama and surrounding states have made use of Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Alabama Department of Industrial Relations spokesperson Debbie Herbert said the number of claims is growing daily.

“As of Wednesday we had over 1,700 in Alabama,” Herbert said. “We have had 6,800 overall with 1,721 from Louisiana and 907 from Mississippi. We have really been handling a lot of claims.”

DUA services are administered by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations through its network of Unemployment Compensation Call Centers across the state. Funding is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More information on DUA is available at