Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available for Workers in 15 Counties

AUSTIN, December 8, 2015 – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of the Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4245-DR) for workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of Oct. 22-31, 2015. Severe weather, including destructive flooding, has devastated multiple counties and hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost, resulting in disaster-related unemployment. Applications for DUA must be submitted by Jan. 6, 2016. TWC’s website contains more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Individuals affected by the recent severe storms in these counties can apply for benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631. Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the damage caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson counties.

DUA, which is unemployment insurance 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

  •  Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household

    Individual assistance provides affected residents and businesses in the aforementioned counties access to federal disaster aid programs including unemployment benefits for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster or self-employed individuals. The disaster declaration applies solely to Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson counties. Applications filed after Jan. 6, 2016, will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for applying after the deadline.

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 form or check stubs, or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred.

Applicants must mail in or fax all required documentation within 21 days from the date of the DUA application. 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 local Workforce Solutions offices 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 engine, by visiting WorkinTexas.com.


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