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Disaster unemployment assistance available for those impacted by severe storms, flooding in Eastern Kentucky

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from individuals significantly impacted by the severe storms and flooding in seven counties that have been approved for Individual Assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike.

The Governor expects more counties to be added, as was the process with December’s deadly tornadoes in Western Kentucky.

“These residents can begin applying immediately for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. That is good news,” Gov. Beshear said. “You do not need to be in person to file one of these claims, but we’re going to have staff in Clay County beginning at noon tomorrow, which is Friday, to help claimants file for benefits.”

The first in-person DUA location will open Friday, Aug. 5, at noon at Oneida Elementary School in Clay County. To learn more visit, governor.ky.gov/floodresources.

The Governor noted the state is working to quickly set up one-stop locations in each of the counties that will provide many different types of help in one place.

In order to qualify for DUA benefits, claimants in eligible counties must show that their employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of the flooding that began July 26 and that they are not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under state or federal law.

File a Claim

Affected individuals should visit the Kentucky Career Center website, kcc.ky.gov, or call 502-875-0442 to file their initial claim. The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 3, 2022.

DUA is available to individuals who:

  • Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • 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, which can also include the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state or local government in immediate response to the disaster;
  • Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
  • Do not qualify for regular UI benefits from any state;
  • Cannot work or resume self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • As a result of the disaster, became the major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

Farmers and other self-employed individuals who are traditionally ineligible for UI benefits may qualify for DUA.

Documentation Needed

To receive DUA benefits, the federal program requires individuals to provide documents, including a copy of their most recent federal or state income tax forms or check stubs, a bill showing their physical address at the time of the disaster and a photo ID. The administration understands many claimants will not have these documents and is working to help individuals obtain new documents. On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration is allowing flood victims in 13 Eastern Kentucky counties to replace lost driver’s licenses and other essential documents at no cost. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is also deploying driver licensing staff to take the full range of licensing services to flood-impacted areas. To find a location visit the Governor’s flood resources website. All required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.

In-Person Assistance

After claimants apply for UI benefits, they should attend an in-person session at one of the following locations Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, through Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Breathitt County
    421 Jett Drive, Jackson KY 41339
  • Clay County
    Oneida Elementary School, 435 Newfound Road, Oneida KY 40972
  • Knott County
    Knott County Sportsplex, 450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn KY 41831
  • Letcher County
    Letcher County Recreation Center, 1505 Jenkins Road, Whitesburg KY 41858
  • Perry County
    Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive, Hazard KY 41701
  • Pike County
    Old Grocery Store, 15308 U.S. Highway 23, South Jenkins KY 41537
  • Floyd County
    Floyd County Community Center, 9188 KY Highway 80, Langley KY 41645

Updated information will be communicated on the Kentucky Career Center website and in future press releases with detailed information. Unemployment assistance is funded by FEMA, and benefits are not charged to employers.

For more information about the disaster in Eastern Kentucky, visit governor.ky.gov/floodresources.