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Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available In Seven Texas Counties

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is now readily accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) due to the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding that began on April 26. This is a crucial step in providing support to individuals affected by these natural disasters.

Governor Greg Abbott requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration on May 15, 2024, which included a request for DUA benefits in seven counties. Under the May 17, 2024, Presidential Disaster Declaration, workers and self-employed individuals in Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker Counties who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from the severe weather may be eligible for DUA benefits.

It’s crucial that individuals affected by the severe weather in the designated counties apply for benefits as soon as possible. You can do this online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling TWC at (800) 939-6631 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Remember, applications for DUA benefits under this declaration must be submitted by July 16, 2024.

Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the damage caused by severe weather.

DUA, which is an unemployment insurance benefit made available, especially for victims of disaster, is designed to be fair and inclusive. It is available to individuals who meet specific criteria, ensuring that those who are most in need receive the support they require.

  • Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits or do not qualify for unemployment benefits;
  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the 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 the disaster;
  • Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Became the breadwinner or significant support of a household because of the death of the head of household or
  • They could not reach their job or self-employment location because they had to travel through the affected area, and the disaster prevented them from doing so.

To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes Social Security number, and documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred or were about to start work or self-employment and could not do so due to the disaster.

It’s essential that TWC has documents proving your employment at the time of the disaster. If you fail to provide this proof within the 21-day deadline, TWC will cease DUA payments and you may be required to repay any benefits received. In some cases, TWC can use information in our system, such as wage records, to verify your employment status at the time of the disaster.

Submit your proof of employment using TWC’s online UI Submission Portal for the fastest review. Select DUA Proof of Employment at Time of Disaster from the Type of Submission drop-down menu. If you cannot use the online portal, you can submit the proof by fax or mail.