Unemployment Assistance Available for those Impacted by Sandy
Federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) is available to Nassau County residents who have lost their job or income due to Super Storm Sandy. These benefits are available to provide financial support to anyone who has lost his or her job, and who lives or works in Nassau.
Last week, the Governor announced an extension from December 3, 2012 to February 4, 2013, to apply for DUA. Claimants have up to 90 days to submit proof employment or self-employment and will be provided an IRS link to expedite the retrieval of lost or delayed tax documents.
The assistance is in addition to New York’s existing unemployment insurance system, expanding eligibility to include individuals who might not otherwise be covered. The federal government has committed to providing additional assistance as the demand for these services has intensified.
Anyone who has been left unemployed due to Sandy may submit a claim to the NYS Department of Labor. The criteria for collecting disaster insurance are broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits, and an individual may collect disaster assistance for any of the following specific cases:
· Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed;
· Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, and the person cannot work because of the disaster;
· Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster;
· Cannot get to work because he/she must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster;
· Scheduled to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster;
· Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster; and,
· Is not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
This list is not necessarily complete, so if one is uncertain about eligibility, he or she is nevertheless encouraged to apply. Every applicant will be required to submit wage information and documentation supporting his/her application. Examples of those who are self-employed include small business owners, independent taxi drivers, vendors, and independent commercial fishermen.
To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance, contact the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124. Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due to Sandy. In order to receive benefits, applications must be made by February 4, 2013.