If your job disappeared in Hurricane Irma, there is something you can do about it

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For Floridians whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted because of Hurricane Irma, disaster unemployment assistance is available in 46 of the state’s 67 counties.

The assistance is being offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which will accept applications through Oct. 16, and is available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because of the death of the head of household.

Disaster unemployment assistance covers those who do not qualify for regular re-employment assistance benefits. It also covers those who are self-employed, as well as farm and ranch owners and workers, fishers and others not normally covered by state’s 13-week re-employment assistance benefits.

Disaster assistance is available from Sept. 10 until March 17, 2018, as long as the unemployment continues to be because of Irma.

The disaster benefits are available for up to 26 weeks for those who qualify, but claimants eligible for normal re-employment assistance must exhaust those benefits before establishing a disaster claim.

Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when Hurricane Irma occurred. To receive the assistance, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days of the date the application was filed.

To file a claim, call 800-385-3920 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit floridajobs.org.


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