Job-related disaster aid available

Published 11:21 am Friday, April 29, 2011

RALEIGH — More help is on the way.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission in 18 counties following storm damage on April 16.

The affected counties are: Bertie, Bladen, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wilson.

Workers in those counties who became unemployed as a direct result of the recent severe storms, tornados and flooding impacting North Carolina may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the DUA program. Business owners affected by the storm may also qualify for benefits.

Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:

• 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 job or self-employment location 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 by the disaster

There is no “waiting” week period to file for benefits. Affected workers can receive benefits dated back to the week ending April 23, 2011.

DUA is funded entirely by the Federal Government.

Individuals may contact the ESC by email at, or by calling 1-866-795-8877 to apply for DUA benefits. Individuals are encouraged to file as soon as possible. The deadline for filing an initial claim for DUA is 30 days from the date ESC begins taking claims (April 26, 2011).