HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits are now available to individuals, including self-employed workers, unemployed due to the effects of Tropical Storm Lee and the severe storms, heavy rains and flooding that have resulted since Sept. 3, Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway said today.
DUA benefits are now available under the federal disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Lee in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties.
"Residents of these counties who lost work due to Tropical Storm Lee may now apply for this special assistance," Hearthway said. "The Department of Labor & Industry and other state agencies are continuing to work to help residents get back to normal and return to work."
Applicants may file for DUA by calling toll free at 877-FILE DUA (877-345-3382), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Individuals using a text telephone (TTY) may call toll free at 888-334-4046.
Applicants should be prepared to provide a Social Security Number and, if possible, any documents that show earnings and employment for the tax year that ended prior to their unemployment as a result of the disaster.
Claimants in these counties must file DUA applications no later than Oct. 27.
DUA is available to individuals who are self-employed or who would not normally qualify for regular state assistance. DUA covers people who, as a direct result of the disaster, no longer have a job, are unable to reach their place of employment, were to begin work and were prevented by the disaster, cannot work because of an injury or illness caused as a direct result of the disaster, or have become a breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster.
Unemployment is considered a direct result of the disaster if it resulted from the physical damage or destruction of the place of employment; the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster area closed by the federal, state, or local government.
UC claimants not affected by the storms should continue to file claims online at www.uc.pa.gov.
Media Contact: Sean Yeakle, 717-787-7530
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry