The U.S. Department of Labor today extended through November 30 the time allowed for persons rendered jobless by Hurricane Rita to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The department also lengthened to 90 days the paperwork requirements needed to support an initial DUA application.
Under normal procedures, applicants must file for DUA benefits within 30 days and are allowed 21 days from the application date to submit the required supporting documents. The extension was made because citizens may not have immediate access to the appropriate documentation necessary and may have to rely on others to provide the documentation.
"Recovery for many hurricane survivors starts with us getting some form of income to them as quickly as possible," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "So that Gulf coast residents affected by Rita can move ahead in sorting out their lives, we are going to give them a break from first having to sort through paperwork that may have been lost in the hurricane."