Disaster unemployment assistance benefits are available for workers in Sevier County who are unemployed as a direct result of the wildfires on Nov. 28, 2016, but applicants must file before the deadline on Monday.
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) program on behalf of the federal government. The agency will process all DUA claims filed after the wildfire first under the eligibility requirements of a standard Tennessee unemployment claim (TUC). If the claim does not meet TUC standards, it will then be processed as a DUA claim.
Individuals who typically are not covered for regular unemployment benefits may qualify for disaster unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers and others not covered under the state unemployment insurance program, whose source of income has been interrupted by the disaster.
The federal declaration number for this disaster is FEMA-4293-DR. Weekly DUA benefits may range from an estimated $116 to $275 per week and are payable up to 28 weeks after the day of the declaration, which was December 15, 2016. A person’s DUA benefits will end if unemployment is no longer a direct result of the disaster.
Persons unemployed as a direct result of the recent wildfires must file their claim for disaster unemployment assistance benefits by Jan. 16, 2017.
If possible, individuals should have their 2015 federal income tax return, Social Security number, and any paperwork that documents their wage and employment information prior to the disaster.
Individuals who are unemployed as a result of the wildfire should log onto www.Jobs4TN.gov to file their DUA claim online with the state of Tennessee. They may also visit the American Job Center at 1216 Graduate Drive in Sevierville, where staff members can assist them in the filing process.