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Residents in 5 additional counties now eligible for individual assistance, disaster unemployment assistance

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Individual Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance for Kentuckians in Leslie, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley and Whitley counties.

The move immediately makes assistance available to more Kentuckians who are hurting following the catastrophic floods that devastated the Eastern Kentucky region.

The total number of counties eligible for Individual Assistance now stands at 12. Residents in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties can submit a claim for DUA benefits online through the Kentucky Career Center website or by phone at 502-875-0442.

The application deadline for all claimants has been extended until Sept. 6.

The Governor said during his briefing Thursday that he expected more counties to be cleared for Individual Assistance, as was the process when deadly tornadoes hit Western Kentucky in December.

“This is more good news for the residents in these counties, who can immediately begin applying for assistance,” Gov. Beshear said. “While residents do not have to utilize in-person services, we are continuing to expand in-person services in affected counties to help claimants file for benefits.”

This week the Governor said the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance had begun accepting DUA applications and launched the agency’s first location in Eastern Kentucky where claimants can seek in-person help with the application process.

The agency began providing in-person assistance Friday for residents in Clay County at the Disaster Recovery Center, Oneida Elementary School, 435 Newfound Road in Oneida.

Also Friday, Gov. Beshear announced that OUI would begin providing in-person assistance Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Disaster Recovery Center in the Knott County Sportsplex, 450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn, KY 41831.

Residents in both counties can get help with DUA claims between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

The agency will soon announce additional locations in the region where people can seek help. The Governor noted Thursday that the state is working to quickly set up Disaster Recovery Center locations in each of the counties that will provide many different types of help in one place.

Qualifying for DUA

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 benefits under state or federal law.

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

If claimants need assistance, 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. and 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
  • Perry County
    Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive, Hazard, KY 41701

Updated information will be communicated on the Kentucky Career Center website and future press releases. Unemployment assistance is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and benefits are not charged to employers.

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