State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that workers in 16 Georgia counties, including Bartow, may now be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to compensate for loss of income directly resulting from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and associated flooding which occurred last Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28.
The counties are Bartow, Catoosa, Coweta, Dade, Floyd, Greene, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Spalding, Troup, and Walker. Presently, these are the only counties authorized for DUA benefits.
"Due to the devastating damage of our recent storms, some Georgians will be without income until their businesses and employers can resume operations," said Commissioner Butler. "These federal unemployment benefits are designed to provide a financial bridge until they can return to work."
DUA is a federal program established to help workers whose primary income is lost or interrupted as a direct result of a disaster declared by the President. It differs from state unemployment insurance in that it provides benefits to self-employed business people, farmers, diversified farming operators, loggers, commission-paid employees and others who are not eligible for the state's program. The maximum weekly benefit amount is $330.
Business owners and workers impacted by the storm are encouraged to apply for these benefits by Wednesday, June 1.
DUA claims may be filed at any of the Georgia Department of Labor career centers. Bartow County is served by the Cartersville Career Center, 19 Felton Place in Cartersville, 770-387-3760.
In applying for DUA benefits, applicants will need to provide their social security number and government issued photo identification. Because verification of income may be required, applicants are strongly urged to bring proof of earnings for the most recently completed tax year. Examples of acceptable documents include: copies of their most recently completed income tax returns, copies of quarterly estimated income tax payment records, or similar documents.
Under certain circumstance, DUA benefits may also be available to individuals who become the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of household has died as direct result of the disaster. Persons who become the breadwinner or major support of a household under such circumstances should be prepared to present proof of the death of the head of household, such as a death certificate or affidavit.
Potentially eligible workers should contact the nearest Georgia Department of Labor office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. To obtain career center information, individuals may visit the Georgia Department of Labor's website www.dol.state.ga.us or contact the toll-free customer service line at 877-709-8185.