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"Howard, Humboldt, Jackson, and Poweshiek Counties Eligible to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Insurance Benefits"


For Immediate Release
Contacts: Joe Bervid (515) 281-8117
Kerry Koonce (515) 281-9646

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Howard, Humboldt, Jackson, and Poweshiek Counties Eligible to Apply
for Disaster Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Farmers Encouraged to Seek Benefits

Des Moines, Iowa – Howard, Humboldt, Jackson, and Poweshiek counties have been added to the previous 74 counties eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) announced Iowa Workforce Development. The federal government declared Butler county as a weather-related disaster area on May 27, 2008. The total number is 78 counties in which those unemployed due to the disaster may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

“If you live or work in any of these counties and have lost your job due to the recent bad weather, you should apply for these federal benefits,” said Elisabeth Buck, Director, Iowa Workforce Development. The disaster is for the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding which occurred on May 25 through August 13, 2008.

Claims need to be filed by September 29, 2008 for these additional counties, according to Buck. The benefits cover self-employed workers not usually entitled to unemployment insurance, including Iowa farmers. People applying for DUA need to provide proof of past earnings, such as business records or bank statements and their most recent income tax form, at the time they file their claim. Any Iowa Workforce Development Center can accept DUA claims or individuals can file on the Workforce website at “file an unemployment claim”.

Those eligible for benefits in addition to individuals who lost their jobs directly due to the severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes may also include: (1) individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster, (2) individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster, (3) individuals who became the breadwinner or major support for a household because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster, or (4 )individuals who cannot work or perform services in self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster. Unemployment is a direct result of the major disaster if the unemployment resulted from: (1) the physical damage or destruction of the place of employment; (2) the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or (3) lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster area closed by the federal, state, or local government.

In addition to assistance filing a DUA claim, Iowa Workforce Development Centers offer reemployment services, including testing, counseling and placement. Job search and career information also is available through Iowa Workforce Development’s web site at