Federal disaster unemployment assistance is being made available for residents of Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster counties who lost their job or income due to Superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.
The disaster unemployment benefits are available to New Yorkers who lost their job or income due to last month’s storm and live or work in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
“This vital aid will help New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy begin to rebuild their lives,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will continue to do all we can to help those affected by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Sandy, and I am pleased that residents in addtional counties will now be eligible for this federal aid.”
Last week, Cuomo said unemployment benefits would be extended from Dec. 3 to Feb. 4 for those impacted by the storm. Claimants have up to 90 days to submit proof of employment.
The aid is separate from the state’s existing unemployment program, Cuomo said. The federal government is providing the unemployment benefits to those impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which hit Oct. 29, and might not be covered.
Cuomo said the state the Department of Labor has received roughly 27,500 calls since the additional unemployment aid was announced.
Since the storm, he said about 4,600 individuals have filed for disaster unemployment assistance and about 18,100 have filed for regular unemployment benefits.
Here is, according to the state, who can apply for the unemployment benefits under disaster assistance:
- Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed.
- Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, or the person cannot work because of the disaster.
- Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
- Cannot get to work because they must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
- Scheduled to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster.
- Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster.
To apply, call the state’s claims center at 1-888-209-8124, or 1-877-358-5306 if they live out of state.
Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due to Superstorm Sandy, Cuomo said. Benefits need to be applied for by Feb. 4.