News, Risk Management

Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announced a crucial initiative aimed at providing relief to individuals impacted by severe storms and tornadoes. Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been made available in Jackson and Jasper counties, offering a lifeline to those facing employment challenges due to the disaster. This blog post delves into the details of this program, its eligibility criteria, benefits, and how affected individuals can access the support they need.

Understanding Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disasters can disrupt lives by causing a loss of employment. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program was established as a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Its primary goal is to provide financial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs due to a major disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

Eligibility Criteria

Individuals are eligible if they lived, worked, or were scheduled to work in the affected areas and:

  • No longer have a job or place to work; or
  • Cannot reach the place of work; or
  • Cannot work as the result of damage to the place of work; or
  • Cannot work due to injury sustained in the disaster
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household due to the death of the head of   household resulting from the disaster

Application Process

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) is the agency responsible for processing DUA claims. Applications can be submitted online through the MDES website or by calling their helpline at (601) 493-9428. The MDES is committed to assisting applicants between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Central time, Monday through Friday.

Important Deadlines & Benefits

The deadline for filing a DUA claim related to the storms in Jackson and Jasper counties is September 15, 2023. After this date, claims will not be honored.

DUA benefits are available for up to 26 weeks during the Disaster Assistance Period (DAP). The specific weekly benefit amount is determined by the governing laws of the state in which the claim was filed. One significant aspect is that DUA benefits are fully federally funded, meaning that employers’ Unemployment Insurance (UI) accounts will not be charged for these benefits.

More information is available HERE.

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