DWD: Governor Doyle Announces An Earlier Start Date For

Rose Lynch, Director of Communications, 608-266-6753

Workers must contact DWD by November 26, 2004

Governor Jim Doyle announced today that victims of the severe storms and flooding in May and June may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for two earlier weeks in May. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had originally found that the disaster began on May 19, 2004. The date has now been amended to May 7, 2004. This change makes the weeks of May 9, 2004 through May 15, 2004 and May 16, 2004 through May 22, 2004 potential weeks for which eligible individuals may be paid.

Residents and persons who worked in Adams, Brown, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Marathon, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Shawano, Sheboygan, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties are eligible to apply for these two weeks of Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

People who live or work in these 44 counties may be eligible for DUA if they, as a direct result of the storms and flooding, became unemployed or partially unemployed, were unable to reach their place of employment, or lost work because of an injury and are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. DUA provides benefits for those who lost employment as a direct result of the disaster, but does not pay for damage to homes, businesses or lost crops. Individuals who became the major supporter of a household because the head of the household died as a result of the storms and flooding are also potentially eligible for DUA benefits

Workers who previously applied for benefits and were found eligible need not re-apply. DWD will be contacting those individuals by mail for any needed additional information.

Workers who previously applied for benefits, but were found not to be eligible, may apply for these additional two weeks, if they meet the eligibility criteria. These workers must call the Unemployment Insurance Division at the numbers below.

Individuals who have not previously applied, but who lived or worked in these 44 counties may be eligible for assistance for these two weeks. Workers, including those who are self employed on a farm or other business must apply for these two additional weeks by November 26, 2004. Call the Unemployment Insurance Division in Madison at (608) 232-0678, in Milwaukee at (414) 438-7700 and toll free at 1-800-822-5246. A special (TTY) number for the hearing impaired is also available at 1-888-393-8914.

DUA benefits are based on a person’s earnings for the most recent tax year. As a result, applicants will be asked to provide earnings data from their 2003 federal tax returns. Benefits can range from $126 to $329 per week.