Gov. Ron DeSantis has waived several requirements to receive unemployment aid for Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Sunday.
Now, Hurricane Ian survivors will temporarily be able to bypass the work search reporting, waiting a week, and Employ Florida registration requirements for re-employment assistance claims. The waiver applies to those in FEMA disaster-declared counties.
Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Those benefits are for those not eligible for regular state or federal re-employment assistance benefits.
By waiving these requirements, eligible Floridians will be able to apply and receive re-employment assistance and disaster unemployment aid benefits in a faster period.
“Right now, Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian are trying to meet their critical needs and what they don’t need are roadblocks interfering with their recovery,” FDEO Secretary Dane Eagle said in a statement.
“Gov. DeSantis’ swift action to cut red tape and waive reporting requirements for re-employment assistance is the right choice to get families the help they need to get back on their feet faster, and DEO stands ready to distribute this vital assistance as quickly as possible,” he continued.
Those who qualify for DUA must meet one of the following requirements:
— Unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster
— Was scheduled to start employment but was unable to as a direct result of the major disaster
— Is unable to reach their job or self-employment location because the individual must travel through an affected area and is prevented from doing so as a direct result of the major disaster
— Has become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster
— Is unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of the major disaster
To file a claim, you can go here, visit a local CareerSource Career Center, or call 1-800-385-3920. For DUA claims information, call 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) to speak with a representative.
Individuals must file for state re-employment assistance benefits before filing for DUA. During the application, claimants should indicate they have been impacted by the disaster. Claimants who are determined ineligible or have exhausted re-employment assistance benefits will be automatically prompted to file a DUA application if they indicated on their re-employment Assistance application that the disaster affected their employment.
DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning Sept. 25 until April 1, 2023, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. The deadline to submit a claim for DUA benefits is Dec. 30.
The hurricane became the fifth most powerful to ever hit the U.S. after leveling Fort Myers and Sarasota areas, leaving nearly 2.7 million people without power.
The hurricane has so far claimed 54 lives: 47 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. Search and rescue efforts are underway. As of Saturday morning, the U. S. Coast Guard, federal, state and local search and rescue teams rescued over 3,500 people and nearly 140 pets. The number of Federal units supporting search and rescue operations has doubled.