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May 20, 2003

Governor announces unemployment aid for storm victims
Workers in 12 hard-hit counties eligible for assistance

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. ­­- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that residents of 12 western and southern Illinois counties who became unemployed due to recent storms, tornadoes and flooding may be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).


"Families from storm­-torn areas suffer hardship not only from destroyed or damaged homes but also from the temporary loss of jobs as a result of damage to businesses," Blagojevich said. "Disaster Unemployment Assistance can provide a safety net to help soften the impact on those whose livelihoods were affected by the recent tornadoes and severe storms."


At the governor’s request, President George W. Bush last week declared 12 Illinois counties hit hardest by the storms of May 6 - 11 as federal disaster areas, making residents of those areas eligible for DUA. The counties included: Adams, Alexander, Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Mason, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Schuyler, Tazewell and Woodford.


DUA claims may be filed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) at any of the 60 Illinois Employment and Training Centers (IETCs) in the state. The filing deadline for DUA claims is June 19.


 “Anyone unable to work as a result of the storm effects, including farmers, agricultural workers and others who are self­employed or who work part­time, should file a claim for disaster unemployment assistance,” said Brenda A. Russell, IDES director.


The maximum benefits payable under the DUA program are $438 a week for a claimant with a dependent child, $391 for a claimant with a dependent spouse and $331 a week for an individual claimant.   The minimum weekly benefit is $141.


Federal DUA is available to persons in presidentially­declared disaster areas who, as a result of the storms, 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.


Applicants need to provide their Social Security number and, if possible, pay stubs or any other papers that show recent earnings and employment.


The IETC offices close to affected counties are located in Marion, Harrisburg, Cairo, Murphysboro, Quincy, Pekin and Peoria.  Those seeking assistance can find the nearest location by calling 888­FOR­IETC (888­-367-­4382).


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