Time is running out for South Carolina residents in declared disaster areas to apply for unemployment assistance if they lost their job or pay due to Hurricane Florence or its aftermath.
“Disaster Unemployment Assistance are funds that are available for individuals who may have lost their job as a result of the hurricanes that we had in South Carolina,” Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) spokeswoman Dorothy Weaver said.
Such funds are available in counties where a disaster was declared due to storm damage. In South Carolina, residents of Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties are eligible.
“We encourage anyone who has lost wages, due to the direct result of the storm, to apply for assistance,” SCDEW executive director Cheryl Stanton said. “Regardless if you are an employee, self-employed or the owner of a small business, this program is designed for you.”
A victim seeking unemployment insurance benefits can select that their job loss was a result of the hurricane or flooding. The assistance is also offered for those who were not able to work for weeks afterwards due to the damage.
One or more the following criteria must be met to qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assitance:
• Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
• Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
• Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
• Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death or injury of the previous major supplier of household income.
• Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
• Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster.
Even if you’re not sure if you qualify, Weaver suggests you apply anyway. “We encourage people to apply. That’s the first step,” she said.
The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is Wednesday for Horry, Dillon and Marlboro counties. For Chesterfield County the deadline is October 25. Residents in Georgetown County have until October 26 to apply and residents in Florence and Darlington Counties have a deadline of November 2.
“As the counties were declared, there is a 30-day window in which people can apply for the DUA funds. That is why the deadlines are different for different counties,” Weaver said.
To apply for unemployment insurance, click here. To apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, click here. For more information, you can visit one of the statewide SC Works Centers or call 1-866-831-1724.