Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Individuals unable to work, as a direct result of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks that occurred in Louisa County on August 23 through October 25, may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance. Self-employed and unemployed workers who live or work in the designated disaster area who are not covered by regular state unemployment insurance programs may be eligible for this assistance under the major disaster declaration announced by President Obama on November 4, 2011. Under this program, benefits of up to $378 per week may be paid to eligible individuals until they are able to return to work.

Disaster unemployment assistance covers those who:

• Are unable to work because their place of employment was put out of operation or they were unable to travel to their workplace due to the effects of the earthquake damage;

• Are self-employed, but are prevented from working due to the effects of the earthquake damage;

• Have become the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster; or

• Cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.

Anyone interested in filing for disaster unemployment assistance should visit the nearest Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) field office on or before the filing deadline of Monday, December 12, 2011. Applicants should have their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the year 2010.