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NEW: Chafee Announces Disaster Unemployment Assistance Sessions

Monday, December 03, 2012


Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) will hold Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims filing sessions this week for individuals who lost their jobs as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. These sessions will be held at the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Centers:

  • Middletown Police Department, 123 Valley Road, Middletown: Tuesday, December 4, 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Misquamicut Fire Department, 65 Crandall Avenue, Westerly: Wednesday-Thursday, December 5-6, 8 AM to 6 PM

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a federally funded program for those who were unemployed due to the severe storm and resulting damage that began October 26, 2012 and who would otherwise not be eligible for unemployment insurance. Individuals who qualify for regular unemployment insurance will not qualify for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance. In addition, DUA does not cover unemployment during a company’s standard off-season.

Impacted counties include Washington and Newport Counties. Eligible claimants may include:

  • Those injured in the disaster and unable to work;
  • Those whose workplaces were damaged, destroyed or made inaccessible due to the disaster;
  • Those for whom transportation to work was unavailable;
  • Those whose transportation route was inaccessible due to the disaster and for whom other means of transportation are unavailable; and
  • Those, such as self-employed workers who are not normally covered by regular unemployment insurance, who derive most of their income from areas affected by the disaster, and have experienced a decline in business a result of the disaster.

Individuals attending the special claims-filing sessions must bring the following information with them to the Disaster Recovery Center:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or a Rhode Island I.D.
  • Mailing address and zip code
  • Income tax for 2011 with profit and loss statement
  • Business license
  • Telephone number where the worker can be reached for additional information
  • Alien registration card, if applicable
  • Names and addresses of any other employers (in addition to self-employment) during the past 18 months

Rhode Island residents may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance until February 4, 2012. Please note that DUA differs from regular unemployment insurance benefits, and that unlike regular unemployment insurance claims, DUA claims filing must be staff-assisted and may not be filed on the Internet or on self-serve unemployment insurance kiosks. Impacted workers may be entitled to up to 27 weeks of DUA benefits. In Rhode Island, Sandy-related DUA benefits conclude the week ending May 4, 2013.

Employees of businesses that were laid off temporarily due to storm-related damage or transportation disruption may be eligible for regular unemployment insurance; they do not need to attend these special claims-filing sessions, and may simply file online for unemployment insurance at www.dlt.ri.gov, indicating that their unemployment is due to Hurricane Sandy. If their employer is registered as eligible with the department, then the employees’ one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance will be waived.


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