Federal disaster declaration, Disaster Unemployment Assistance available for tornado and storm victims

State News

Destroyed homes ad trees are seen in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region, in Mayfield, Ky., Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – State officials announced Thursday that the victims of the severe Dec. 10-11 storms may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) after a federal disaster declaration was issued for Arkansas communities.

According to the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of the tornadoes and storms in Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff counties may be eligible for DUA.

Officials said individuals who have temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, like those who are self-employed, may also be eligible for DUA.

DUA will provide unemployment benefits for up to 28 weeks, officials said. State officials also said that claims for the counties must be filed between Dec. 30 and Jan. 31 at local DWS offices during office hours.

DWS officials said individuals filing for DUA should bring a copy of their government issued photo identification, social security card, the name and address of their last place of employment and documents verifying income for 2020.

DWS reported that the benefits are available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household

For more information regarding DUA benefits, visit the Department of Workforce Services at www DWS.Arkansas.gov.

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