MDES: Flood could displace 15,000 workers


Published: May 13,2011

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Employment Security estimates as many as 15,000 workers may be left temporarily jobless by the flooding.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those affected by the flooding Mississippi River and its tributaries. The eligible counties are Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Jefferson, Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo. Other counties may be added as appropriate.

The agency said it has received more than 2,000 flooding-related Unemployment Insurance claims. More than 90 percent of those applicants qualified for the state’s regular Unemployment Insurance program.

The disaster declaration requires the state to collect additional information for flooding-related claims. MDES will contact those who have already filed to get additional information.

Workers whose jobs have been affected by floods in these counties have until June 11 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Workers are first evaluated for the state’s regular Unemployment Insurance program. Workers not eligible for that program and who have a flood-related claim will be evaluated for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Workers who do not qualify for the state’s regular Unemployment Insurance program may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This includes workers who:

• are unemployed as a direct result of the disaster.

• are self-employed.

• cannot work or perform jobs because of disaster-related injuries.

• are unable to reach their workplaces or job sites because of the disaster.

• were to have started jobs but are unable to get to or perform their jobs.

• became the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of household died as a result of the disaster.

Workers can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website — Workers also may call the agency’s call centers at (601)-855-3133 or toll-free 1-888-844-3577 — between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Source: MDES

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