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May 23, 2002

Governor Ryan Announces Disaster Unemployment Aid for Workers in Southern Illinois Counties Hit by Severe Storms

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Illinois workers who became unemployed due to recent storms and flooding in 30 Southern Illinois counties may now be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

“This assistance will help many Illinois workers begin to recover from the personal setbacks they experienced due to the recent flooding,” Governor Ryan said. “For some, these setbacks included not only the devastation of homes and personal belongings, but also the temporary loss of their jobs and associated income.”

At Governor Ryan's request, President Bush declared nine Illinois counties as federal disaster areas on Tuesday, making residents of those and 21 adjacent counties which also incurred substantial damages on or after April 21, eligible for DUA. Federal officials currently were assessing damage over a wider area to determine whether to expand the disaster designation to include additional counties.

Those counties now eligible for DUA include: Alexander, Clay, Clinton, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, St. Clair, Saline, Union, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson.

Residents of those counties whose employment was impacted by the effects of the storms should file a claim for DUA with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) at their nearest Illinois Employment and Training Center (IETC). The IETC offices in the affected counties are located in Cairo, Marion, Harrisburg, Carterville, Murphysboro, Enfield, Mount Vernon, Centralia, Olney, Effingham, Belleville, East St. Louis, Alton and Glen Carbon.

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to persons in areas that have received a declaration of disaster by the President who, as a result of the disaster incident, no longer have a job, are unable to reach their place of work, or were going to start work but cannot reach their place of employment.

“Anyone who has been unable to work as a result of the flooding, including people who are self-employed such as farmers and agricultural workers, or who work part-time, should file a claim for disaster unemployment assistance,” said IDES Director Gertrude W. Jordan.

Applicants for Disaster Unemployment Assistance should bring their Social Security number and, if possible, pay stubs or any other papers that show recent earnings and employment. Maximum benefits under the DUA program are $431 a week for a claimant with a dependent child, $385 for a claimant with a dependent spouse and $326 a week for an individual claimant. Claims for disaster unemployment benefits must be filed no later than June 23.

To locate the IETC nearest you, call 1-888-FOR-IETC (888-367-4382).


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