Disaster Unemployment Aid Available in 22 Texas Counties

Workers affected by wildfires in Anderson, Caldwell, Fayette, Henderson, Hill and Rusk counties may now apply for assistance

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Victims of wildfires in six additional counties may now apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) as a result of an expansion of the Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4029-DR). Workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to wildfires in Anderson, Caldwell, Fayette, Henderson, Hill and Rusk counties may apply for DUA. Bastrop, Cass, Colorado, Gregg, Grimes, Harrison, Houston, Leon, Marion, Montgomery, Smith, Travis, Upshur, Walker, Waller and Williamson counties had previously been approved to receive assistance under the declaration.

Individuals affected by Texas wildfires in these counties should apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits by logging onto ui.texasworkforce.org or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CST) at 800-939-6631. Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the wildfires. Victims may also call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-3362 or visit www.disasterassistance.gov to locate their nearest disaster recovery team.

Wildfire victims also can visit any Workforce Solutions Center to apply for DUA. Victims of the wildfires in counties listed below must submit DUA applications by the following deadlines:

  • Bastrop – Oct. 13, 2011
  • Colorado, Houston, Leon, Travis and Williamson – Oct. 17, 2011
  • Cass, Gregg, Grimes, Marion, Montgomery, Walker and Waller – Oct. 19, 2011
  • Harrison, Smith and Upshur – Oct. 26, 2011
  • Anderson, Caldwell, Fayette, Henderson, Hill and Rusk – Oct. 31, 2011

Applications for DUA filed after the October deadlines will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for applying late.

DUA, which is UI benefits made available especially for victims of disaster, is available to individuals who:

  • have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for unemployment benefits;
  • worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the disaster area;
  • can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
  • cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.

To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes Social Security number, a copy of the most recent federal income tax return or check stub, or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Send mailed documentation to: Texas Workforce Commission, UI Support Services Department, Attn: DUA, 101 E. 15th St., Room 354, Austin, TX, 78778-0001, or fax it to 512-936-3250.

Job seekers may visit Texas workforce centers for access to job search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development, and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC’s online job search website, www.WorkInTexas.com.

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