FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Some residents of the nine counties hit hard by the severe flooding that followed rain and ice storms this winter might be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment assistance.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Amy Cubbage, General Counsel for the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance, said the DUA is available for individuals in those nine counties designated as disaster areas who became unemployed or who are self-employed and had work interrupted, as a direct result of flooding, severe storms, landslides and mudslides between Feb. 27 through March 14. Those affected are eligible to apply for DUA benefits through the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance.
The announcement comes after President Joe Biden issued a Major Disaster Declaration April 23 in response to Beshear’s request. The counties designated as disaster areas include Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin and Powell counties.
State officials say Claimants in eligible counties must show proof they lost their employment or self-employment or that it was interrupted as a direct result of the disaster and that they are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits under federal or state law in order to qualify for the DUA benefits.
Those affected by the disaster should visit the Kentucky Career Center website or call 502-875-0442 to file their initial claim before the June 5 deadline.
The governor and Cubbage say Kentuckians such as farmers and other self-employed individuals who are usually not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits may qualify for DUA.
Officials say once claimants apply for UI benefits, they should attend an in-person session located at the Lloyd M. Hall Community Center, 68 South Church Center in Salyersville. This will be the only location for those affected by the disaster and this location will not handle any other UI claims. Staff at the location will be available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. May 11 through May 13, and again from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. May 18 through May 20 to assist claimants.
Self-employed individuals who file in-person should bring a copy of their 2020 income tax return. All applicants will need a photo identification as well as a bill that shows their current address.
According to state officials, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance is funded by FEMA and benefits are not charged to employers.
For more information about the disaster in Eastern Kentucky: