Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fire news: Time running out for jobless benefits

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire

If you lost your job because of the Waldo Canyon Fire, time is running out to apply for unemployment benefits.

Here's a release issued by the state that contains details of the program, such as how to qualify:

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has announced availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to help workers who lost their jobs, and self-employed individuals who are unable to work, recover from the effects of the High Park and Waldo Canyon wildfires that began on June 9, 2012.

Individuals who reside in the major disaster area but are unable to reach their place of employment or self-employment outside of the major disaster area, and individuals who must travel through a major disaster to their employment or self-employment may also qualify for DUA benefits.

The deadline to apply for DUA benefits is August 8, 2012. Affected individuals who live, work, or travel through a disaster area have through that deadline to submit applications for DUA. Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and benefits denied, unless the individual provides good cause for filing late.

The first possible week of DUA compensation is the week beginning June 10, 2012, and ending June 16, 2012. Benefit payments may continue through December 29, 2012, as long as the unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

DUA is available to people who:

§ Do not qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.

§ Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, but were unable to do so because of the disaster.

§ 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.

§ Cannot reach their place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.

§ Have been prevented from work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.

§ Establish that work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

§ Have become the major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

To file a claim for DUA, you may call the Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line at 1-888-843-8382 (outside Denver-metro area) or 303-318-9038 (Denver-metro area). The Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line requires applicants to leave a message with their name, social security number, callback number, and best time(s) to return their call.

To receive DUA benefits, you must provide documentation to support that you were working, were self-employed, or had prospective employment at the time of the disaster. Self-employed individuals must provide federal tax forms (including all schedules) for the 2011 tax year. The documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA claim is filed.

In addition to DUA benefits, individuals may contact their nearest workforce center to receive job-search assistance. A full list of all workforce centers is available online. Visit www.colorado.gov/cdle and click on Workforce Center Services.

Additional information is available online at www.coloradoui.gov/wildfire.

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