According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), workers in Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange and Tyler counties who were affected by Hurricane Rita have until November 30, 2005, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1606-DR.
To be eligible for help under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1606-DR, you must:
· Have worked or been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster no longer have a job, a place to work in the area, or you could not get to your place of work because of disaster damage;
· Have been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster; or
· Have become the head of the household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster.
Often, business owners who are self-employed are not aware of potential benefits to which they may be entitled. If you are self-employed, but have lost all or part of your livelihood as a result of this disaster, you may well be eligible for benefits. You must provide income tax forms (Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F) or other proof of your self-employment to receive disaster unemployment benefits. If in doubt, please call one of the toll-free numbers listed below.
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. TWC officials understand that because of property losses, some individuals may not have necessary information readily available. Each claim is considered individually, therefore if you believe you may be eligible for assistance, please call the TWC Tele-Center network at one of the numbers listed below Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to talk with a representative or file a claim.
Austin local: (512) 340-4300
Dallas local: (214) 252-1200
El Paso local: (915) 832-6400
Fort Worth local: (817) 420-1600
Houston local (281) 983-1100
McAllen local (956) 984-4700
San Antonio local: (210) 258-6600
Others call toll free: (800) 939-6631
Texas Workforce Commission • 512-463-8942 • http://www.texasworkforce.org • Equal Opportunity Employer Relay Texas • 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) • 1-800-735-2988 (Voice) 2-2-2-2 DUA
When calling to apply for benefits you should have available, when possible, your:
· Social Security number and name and address of your last employer or prospective employer.
The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending October 1, 2005, and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending March 25, 2006.
For local workforce services, job seekers and employers should contact their local workforce centers in affected areas for revised office hours, temporary closures, or alternate service locations serving local or evacuated individuals. To locate the nearest workforce center, call:
· South East Texas Workforce Development Board – Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties: (409) 719-4750, when telephone service is available in the area (open in five to seven days)
· The WorkSource in Houston – Chambers, Galveston and Liberty counties: (713) 627-3200
· Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas – Jasper, Newton and Tyler counties: (936) 639-8898Job seekers may visit Texas 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 TWC’s online job-search engine, www.WorkInTexas.com.
TWC has established a central toll-free number, 1-800-695-6879, to take calls from employers with job opportunities for displaced storm victims. The hot line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Once a job order is taken, TWC staff will contact local workforce development professionals in the area where the job is located to begin the process of matching employers with qualified applicants.
Workforce center services for employers include job posting and placement services, up-to-date information on the labor market and emerging occupations, and assistance with recruiting, retention, training, tax and hiring incentives. Employers can recruit new staff through www.WorkInTexas.com. Workforce centers also can offer employers the use of center office equipment and space when they are opening a new building in their respective areas.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.