RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - If you were unable to work because of Hurricane Florence, or lost your job because of the storm, there's a silver lining to the cloud - Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available, and you probably qualify.
Residents in the following counties have been approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Jones, Lenior, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne. This list has already expanded once since being announced, and additional counties may still be added.
Those who want to apply must file an application for benefits by October 18, 2018. That's a 30-day window. Once an application is filed, you'll have 21 days to submit all required documentation. (See more details below)
How do I know if I'm eligible?
- Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
- Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
- Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
- Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death or injury of the previous major supplier of household income.
- Individuals who are unable to reach their jobs or self-employment locations, because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
- Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment, but were prevented from doing so by the disaster.
DUA is funded entirely by the federal government, and you must first file for regular unemployment insurance. If an individual is determined ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, or has exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits, a DUA claim can then be filed.
How do I file a DUA claim?
To file an unemployment insurance claim related to the disaster, call 1-866-795-8877 or visit: https://des.nc.gov/des
Here's a link to documentation that can help you with filing your claim: https://des.nc.gov/DES/Static?page=DownloadMain#IndDUA
You will need your Social Security number, copies of your most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, or documentation to support you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred.
To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.
Can I receive DUA if I am self-employed?
If you live in or get most of your income from areas affected by the disaster, you may qualify.
Can I earn income and still collect DUA as a self-employed farmer or commercial fisherman?
Yes, in some situations. For example, farmers who are involved in more than one aspect of farming, such as dairy and crops, may qualify for partial DUA payments.
Can I clean or salvage my business or farm while collecting DUA?
Yes. Salvaging or other limited self-employment activity alone will not necessarily make you ineligible for DUA.
See more answers to Frequently Asked Questions here: https://des.nc.gov/DES/Static?page=faqMain#DUA
*EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to a computer upgrade DES has scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24, all claims functions - including claims applications - will be unavailable from 5pm on Sept. 24 until 8am on Sept. 28. Keep this in mind and don't delay in filing your application ASAP!