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September 11, 09

NEWS / State Labor Department Offers Disaster Relief Programs

Those affected by August storms in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie Counties may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Albany, NY (September 11, 2009) - State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith announced today that people who are unemployed because of the severe storms and flooding that began on August 8, 2009 in parts of Western NY may be eligible for special Disaster Unemployment Payments. At the request of Governor David Paterson, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie Counties were declared a major disaster area by President Obama on September 1, 2009.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance can keep some income coming in for Western New Yorkers coping with unemployment resulting from the storms earlier this summer,” Smith said. “I’d like to thank Governor Paterson for securing these funds, and President Obama for understanding the extent of the damage and declaring these counties a major disaster area.
The NYS Department of Labor will determine the validity of claims under the program, and make payments to those eligible. The program will be funded by the federal government.

People who live or work in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie Counties and are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance payments. Here are some examples of reasons for unemployment that may make a person eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance:

You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.
Your workplace was damaged, destroyed, or you can’t get there because of the disaster.
Your transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the affected area, and you cannot do that because of the disaster.
You were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster.
You are now the breadwinner or major support for a household because the former head of household died in the disaster.
You are out of work because the Federal government took over or closed the facility where you worked.
You derived most of your income from areas affected by the disaster, whether you worked for yourself or for an employer, and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster.



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