Photo: Some of the Damage From Humphreys County, TN Flooding
Photo Credit: Hardin County Fire Department
Published August 27, 2021
By Jon Styf [The Center Square contributor] and Jason Vaughn [The Tennessee Conservative] –
Residents in four Tennessee counties are eligible for federal disaster-related unemployment after last weekend’s deadly flooding.
After President Joe Biden declared Humphreys, Dickson, Hickman and Houston counties to be major disaster areas (FEMA-4609-DR), the assistance became available to residents whose job was impacted by flooding. The program, called Disaster Unemployment Assistance, is available for 26 weeks after the flooding but eligible residents must apply within 30 days of the program beginning Wednesday.
Storms on Saturday dropped up to 15 inches of rain in a six-hour span and left 20 dead. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee asked Biden on Monday for the disaster declaration, and Biden announced the declaration Tuesday.
With the disaster declaration comes disaster unemployment, which is now open for applications at Jobs4TN.gov.
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“DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to workers, or self-employed individuals, whose livelihood was lost or interrupted due to a major disaster and who do not meet eligibility requirements for regular unemployment,” an announcement of the program said.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor but is administered by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
“Claimants must meet certain criteria to become eligible for DUA including having one week of unemployment following the date of the disaster, the individual was unable to reach their place of employment after the disaster, the individual was scheduled to start work and the job no longer exists, the individual became the major support because the head of household died as a result of the disaster, or the individual cannot work because of injuries sustained during the disaster,” the announcement said.
Those making claims will need proof of employment, including income tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs or work orders. If the proof cannot be provided right away, the claimant has 21 days after the claim to provide documentation.
In Humphreys County, those whose employment was affected by the flood also can apply in person at the American Job Center, 711 Holly Lane, in Waverly or at a mobile American Job Center, which will be in Waverly.
Workers can also apply at one of the mobile American Job Centers (MAJC) that will open in the area. TDLWD will have an MAJC in Waverly and a second MAJC will open at the McEwen High School.
Workers with computer and internet access can also apply for DUA benefits at www.Jobs4TN.gov.
Those in Dickson, Hickman, and Houston counties can apply for DUA by visiting their local American Job Center, or at www.Jobs4TN.gov.
About the Authors:
• Jon Styf is a freelance writer for Tennessee and South Carolina. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.
• Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com