Federal disaster unemployment assistance is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Friday. Disaster unemployment benefits are available to provide financial support to anyone who has lost their job and live or work in the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties.
This unemployment assistance will supplement New York’s existing unemployment insurance system and will expand eligibility to include individuals who might otherwise not be covered. The United States Department of Labor has committed to providing additional assistance if needed.
Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible and can submit a claim to the Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits. Specifically, an individual can collect disaster assistance in any of the following cases:
· 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 must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
· Planned 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.
Examples of self-employment include small business owners, independent taxi drivers, vendors, independent commercial fisherman, and farmers.