Oct. 10 deadline for federal unemployment benefits after Hurricane Idalia | News

VALDOSTA — Workers in Cook, Glynn and Lowndes counties have until Tuesday, Oct. 10 to file initial applications for unemployment benefits (DUAs) to compensate for income lost directly as a result of Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 30.

“Natural disasters can often lead to financial hardship for businesses and employees,” said Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson. “Federal unemployment assistance is a critical lifeline that provides financial stability while our communities rebuild and work to restore a sense of normalcy.”

DUA is a federal program created to assist workers whose primary income is lost or interrupted as a result of a presidentially declared disaster. It differs from regular government unemployment insurance in that it provides benefits to people who are self-employed businessmen, farmers, diversified agricultural operators, loggers, commission workers, and others who are not eligible under the government program.

Applicants may be eligible for weekly benefits of up to $365 starting the week of Sept. 3, according to a press release from the Department of Labor. Individuals in authorized counties directly affected by Hurricane Idalia should first apply for regular unemployment insurance through the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website at dol.georgia.gov or in person at any career center. GDOL will notify applicants if they are also eligible to apply for a DUA. Eligible applicants must apply for these benefits no later than Tuesday, Oct. 10, according to the state Department of Labor.

Income verification may be required when applying for DUA benefits. Applicants must be prepared to provide evidence of earnings for the most recently completed tax year. Acceptable proof of income includes copies of the most recently completed income tax returns, copies of quarterly income tax returns or similar documents.

DUA benefits may also be available to individuals who become breadwinners or provide significant financial support to a family because the head of the household died directly as a result of the hurricane.

People claiming benefits in these circumstances must provide proof of the death of the head of household, such as a death certificate or an affidavit.

Although applications may be submitted in person at any GDOL Career Center, individuals are encouraged to apply on the GDOL website at dol.georgia.gov. For more information on DUA and GDOL Career Center locations, visit dol.georgia.gov or call GDOL’s toll-free customer service line at 1-877-709-8185.

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