Trenton — The U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it approved Gov. Chris Christie’s request to add two New Jersey counties to the list of eight counties that already have qualified for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Bergen and Somerset counties are now included in this special assistance program, which already is being offered to people in and around portions of New Jersey that were declared a federal disaster area, including Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for persons, including selfemployed individuals, who were living or working in the affected counties at the time of the disaster, and who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by the storm.
Most impacted workers may already qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance. The federal DUA is a special program that covers many people who otherwise may not be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance.
At this time, the DUA is available only in connection with the 10 counties now declared a federal disaster area. Additional counties may be added to the disaster declaration following continued damage assessments by local officials, representatives of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If you are unemployed because of the disaster that began on Oct. 28, you should FIRST file for unemployment insurance benefits through the Internet by going to www.njuifile.net.
The Internet processes claims faster. However, if needed, people may also file a claim by telephone by contacting the state Department of Labor’s Re-employment Call Centers at:
North Jersey (201) 601- 4100
Central Jersey (732) 761- 2020
South Jersey (856) 507- 2340
A 30-day deadline ending Dec. 3, 2012 is in effect for filing DUA claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
For additional information regarding Disaster Unemployment Assistance or for FEMA services please call the FEMA emergency number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Information is also available via the Internet at www.disasterassistance.gov and www. fema.gov.