GARDINER — A new type of unemployment assistance is available now to people across the disaster area whose jobs were affected by flooding.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to people who live or work in Park, Stillwater and Carbon counties, and had their jobs affected in a variety of ways, whether they were self-employed, couldn’t work because of the disaster or lost their jobs as a result of it, as well as more scenarios.
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance is made possible by FEMA, as part of their individual assistance relief recently granted to the state after an appeal from the governor.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry provided more information about the assistance and important criteria for applying:
Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims are being accepted by the Department via phone at (406) 444-3454. DUA claims agents will be available starting today at 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Phones will be operated Monday through Friday. Claims will be accepted via phone until August 4, 2022.
The Disaster Assistance Period is effective June 12, 2022. Claims may be backdated to this effective date if this is the first week your employment or self-employment was impacted. Claims must be filed within 30 days of when they are first accepted (July 5th).
“Disaster Unemployment Assistance can be a valuable resource for Montanans who live or work in impacted areas but aren’t covered by regular unemployment insurance,” said Montana Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Laurie Esau. “Filing a DUA claim can help Montanans bridge the financial gap as the region gets back on its feet in the midst of the summer tourist season.”
Most individuals who lost work due the flooding, if they are regular W-2 employees, may be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. Individuals seeking to file a regular UI claim should visit MontanaWorks.gov and create or log into their account. Individuals can also call the Department’s Claims Processing Center at (406) 444-2545 for assistance.
DUA benefits are available to individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits but who, following the June flooding:
- Live or work in Park, Stillwater or Carbon Counties
- Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment
- Could/Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster
- Were/Are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster
- Establish that the work or self-employment they could/can no longer perform was their primary source of income
- Could not/Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster, or
- Who became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household due to the disaster
Montanans who meet the above criteria are encouraged to file a claim via phone at (406) 444-3454.
Individuals will need their Social Security Number, a copy of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, and documentation to support they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.
The first possible week of compensation for those individuals who qualify for DUA, is the week ending June 18, 2022.
Applications filed on Aug. 5, 2022 or later will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after the deadline.