HARRISBURG – The state Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway today announced the availability of federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits to individuals unemployed, including self-employed workers, due to the effects of Hurricane Irene between Aug. 26-30 or as a result of Tropical Storm Lee and the severe storms, heavy rains and flooding that have resulted since Sept. 3.
The federal DUA was made possible after approval of Governor Tom Corbett’s request that affected counties be declared disaster areas. DUA is available under the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Irene in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Sullivan and Wyoming counties.
DUA is available under the federal disaster declaration for Tropical Strom Lee in Adams, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wyoming, and York counties.
Additional disaster-related services are available at local Disaster Recovery Centers which are being established in Bradford, Columbia, Dauphin, Lycoming, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.
“The flooding has impacted residents, homes and businesses,” Hearthway said. “Labor & Industry and the rest of state government are moving quickly to provide the resources our people need to get back to normal and return to work.”
Pennsylvanians who are unemployed as a result of either storm can apply immediately for regular state unemployment compensation (UC) if the employment was covered under the state UC law, or for the special federal DUA benefits.
DUA is available to individuals who are self-employed or who would not normally qualify for regular state assistance. DUA covers people who, as a direct result of the disaster, no longer have a job, are unable to reach their place of employment, were to begin work and were prevented by the disaster, cannot work because of an injury or illness caused as a direct result of the disaster, or have become a breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster.