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Disaster unemployment benefits authorized for SR-530 landslide - April 3, 2014

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OLYMPIA - Disaster unemployment benefits are now available to workers and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the State Route 530 landslide in Snohomish County.

There are three key requirements to keep in mind:
• Disaster unemployment benefits are only for people who don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
• The unemployment or reduced work hours must be a direct result of the disaster.
• Applications must be submitted to the Washington state Employment Security Department by May 5, 2014. Disaster assistance is payable for work lost the week of March 23, 2014, or later.

Qualified applicants will be eligible to receive $194 to $624 per week in benefits.

How to apply
Employment Security has activated a special phone line to take unemployment claims related to the SR-530 disaster: 855-636-5610, option 1.

Examples of potentially eligible applicants include:
• Self-employed individuals and business owners who can’t operate their business.
• Workers whose worksite was damaged or destroyed, or is inaccessible because a road or the business is closed.
• Employees of a business that received most of its revenue from another entity that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
• People who were prevented from beginning a new job.
• Workers who can’t work due to an injury suffered in the disaster.
• People who became the head of their households because of a death caused by the disaster.
• Workers who didn’t have enough base-year hours to qualify for regular benefits.

In all cases, the unemployment, business closure, injury, death or other employment barriers must be a direct result of the disaster to qualify for disaster unemployment assistance.

More information online
Employment Security has created a special Snohomish Co. disaster response Web page with additional information for people affected by the landslide disaster.

The Employment Security Department administers the federal disaster-benefits program for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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