Unemployment help for storm victims

MONTGOMERY, AL - Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Tuesda that workers who became unemployed as a direct result of recent storms in Autauga, Elmore, and Montgomery counties may qualify for unemployment assistance.

People who live in or worked in these counties and became unemployed due to the severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, and straight-line winds during the period of May 6-8 may be eligible for the assistance under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program, which was triggered when President Obama designated the area as a disaster area on June 3.

"Generally, those who are eligible for state unemployment benefits are not eligible for DUA, but a claimant may qualify if state unemployment compensation benefits are exhausted," said Surtees. "If you believe you are entitled to these benefits, I urge you to contact the Department of Industrial Relations to see if you are eligible."

Claims can be filed through DIR's website at www.dir.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866- 234-5382.

The deadline to file a DUA claim is July 22, 2009.