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Federal disaster assistance to help unemployed

Residents in Grundy, La Salle, nine other Illinois counties might be eligible

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:01 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Individuals and business owners out of work as a direct result of severe rain storms and flooding between April 16 and May 5 might be eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Tuesday.

The disaster unemployment assistance is part of a series of programs available after President Barack Obama agreed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s request of a federal disaster declaration in the wake of rain, flooding and straight-line winds that destroyed at least 41 homes and severely damaged 761 others in an 11-county area. Damage assessments continue and additional requests for federal assistance are expected.

The counties declared disaster areas are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, La Salle, McHenry and Will counties. Individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of the rain and flooding might be eligible for financial assistance.

The federal disaster declaration enables people in the area to access temporary housing, grants or loans to help with flood-related losses. Businesses might qualify for low-interest loans.

Applications are available at IDES offices. Office locations also are available by calling IDES at (800) 244-5631 and at ides.illinois.gov. Internet access is available at Illinois libraries and WorkNet centers. Deadline to apply is June 19.

To apply, individuals will need their Social Security number; the name and address of their employer; and proof that flooding interrupted the opportunity to work. A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stub might also be required. Self-employed individuals also should provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F from their tax returns.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency designated this disaster FEMA-DR-4116. Individuals generally can receive benefits as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Eligibility for benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis. Maximum eligibility is 29 weeks.

IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development.

Applications for DUA must be filed by Wednesday June 19.

To be eligible for DUA benefits under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-DR-4116, individuals must be an unemployed or self-unemployed whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President; must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien; and must not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state; and must have worked or were self-employed in, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in, one of the counties listed above; and must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

Also eligible to apply for DUA are individuals who can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster; or cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; or became the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster; or cannot work or perform self-employment due to a closure of a facility by the federal government.

Individuals will need their Social Security Number and the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer to file for DUA. Applicants are required to provide proof (at the time of filing or within 21 days of filing their DUA claim) that they were employed or self-employed at the time the disaster occurred or were scheduled to begin (or resume) a job or self-employment when the disaster occurred.

A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs may also be required (self-employed individuals should also provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F.)

Applications filed after June 19 will be considered untimely unless the individual provides good cause. Individuals generally can receive up to 29 weeks of DUA benefits as long as his/her unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Eligibility for DUA benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis.

Individuals who might be eligible for assistance must file a claim at their nearest Illinois Department of Employment Security office, which are open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

IDES office locations closest to Grundy County are 321 Quadrangle Drive, Bolingbrook; 250 N. Chicago St., Joliet; and 1550 First Avenue, South Towne, Ottawa.

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