Emergency Management

Disaster umployment benefits available for some impacted by November flood
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 22nd, 2006 at 11:43 AM

OLYMPIA — Workers who lost their jobs, who cannot get to work or who were injured due to the flooding events that struck Washington between Nov. 2 and Nov. 11 may be eligible for unemployment benefits, according to the Employment Security Department.

The President has approved “disaster unemployment benefits” for people who are out of work due to severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides in Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties.

Employment Security and Governor Chris Gregoire first announced the availability of the disaster unemployment benefits last Thursday, but only five people have since called to file a claim. “Unfortunately, the recent power outages probably kept a lot of people from hearing our announcement last week,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “We’re trying again because the application window is pretty narrow and people need to apply right away.”

Applications are available online at http://www.wa.gov/esd/ui/dua.htm and must be received by Jan. 13, 2007. Unemployed workers also can request an application by phone, toll-free, at 877-416-7274, by e-mail at dua@esd.wa.gov or in person at local WorkSource centers. Qualified applicants will be eligible to receive $157 to $496 per week in benefits.

Disaster unemployment assistance is only for workers who do not qualify for other unemployment benefits. Self-employed individuals also are eligible for disaster unemployment assistance if they are unemployed as a direct result of the storms. They must submit a copy of their 2005 tax year return or documentation showing their net earnings from tax year 2005 with their application. ###