Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available to Workers in Johnson and Niobrara Counties

CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for individuals who lost work as a result of severe storms and flooding between , and , in Johnson and Niobrara Counties. Assistance is available as a result of the Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-4227-DR. Individuals have the opportunity to file for DUA assistance until August 10, 2015.

DUA payments are designed to provide assistance to individuals, including unemployed self-employed individuals, who were living or working in the affected areas at the time of the major disaster; or those who are unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster and are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. If an individual is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, the individual is not eligible for DUA.

To be eligible for DUA, individuals must:

  • Have lost a job directly due to the disaster.
  • Have been unable to reach their place of work because travel through the affected area was prevented due to the disaster.
  • Have been prevented to commence employment or self-employment because of the disaster.
  • Have been prevented from working due to an injury or illness that is a direct result of the disaster.
  • Have become the head of the household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster.

To claim DUA, the loss of work must have been as a direct result of the major disaster. To meet this requirement, the unemployment must have resulted from:

  • The physical damage or destruction of the place of employment.
  • The physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster.
  • Lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster area closed by the federal, state, or local government.

Self-employed individuals that have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of this disaster must provide income tax forms or other proof of self-employment to receive DUA.

Claims are being taken by the DWS Unemployment Insurance Division Claims Center at (307) 473-3789. Each claim is considered individually. To receive DUA benefits, individuals must provide documentation indicating an employment record at the time of the disaster or verification of the weeks the applicant was scheduled to work. All required information must be submitted with the DUA application, including a Social Security number, name and address of the last employer or prospective employer within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.

The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending .

After applying for DUA, individuals must actively search for full-time employment unless DWS provides information otherwise. Job seekers may visit local workforce centers 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 the DWS online job-matching system by visiting wyomingatwork.com.

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