Oklahomans who lost their jobs because of recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation.
Residents of Ottawa and Washington counties have until Aug. 8 to apply for assistance.
The benefits, which also extend to self-employed persons, are funded through a Federal Emergency Management Agency is a program administered by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The program is available to unemployed U.S. nationals, tribal members and qualified aliens who meet the following criteria:
€ Worked or were self-employed in or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in an area declared as a federal disaster area.
€ Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster.
€ Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
€ Do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
€ Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury or incapacity resulting from the disaster.
€ Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.
€ Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government.
€ Lost a majority of income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the federal government.
To file for unemployment assistance, disaster victims must first establish a regular state unemployment claim.
Individuals calling with the Oklahoma City metropolitan area can dial 405-525-1500 to establish a claim and start the application process. Those outside the metropolitan area should call 1-800-555-1554.
Persons in the declared counties who had to evacuate should make sure the post office has their current address.
If not, victims can go online to www.usps.com, call 1-800-275-8777, or go to any U.S. Post Office and submit a change of address request.
After changing an address, call FEMA, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 and update applicant files.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident.
FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.