South Carolinians who are out of work because of this week’s floods might be eligible for assistance through the state Department of Employment and Workforce, state officials said Wednesday.
Disaster unemployment assistance will be made available to people who became unemployed as a direct result of the storm last weekend and the resulting floods, the department said. The relief, which will be available without the usual one week waiting period to file for benefits, will be available to people in the counties of Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg. Other counties may be added to the eligibility list late, DEW said.
Workers or businesses owners must meet the following criteria to be eligible for benefits:
- Individuals who are unemployed because of the disaster, and who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
- Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income because of the disaster.
- Individuals who were prevented from working because of an injury caused by the disaster.
- Individuals who have become the major wage earner in a household because of a disaster-related death or injury to the previous major wage earner.
- Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because of the disaster.
- Individuals who were about to begin employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster.
DEW has set up a telephone line to assist people in applying for the disaster benefits. For questions regarding eligibility, call 888-834-5890. Go to www.dew.sc.gov for more information and updates on this program. Applicants can file immediately. Applicants have 30 days to file a claim under this program. The last day to file will be Nov. 6.