Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available for anyone living or working in the affected counties at the time of Hurricane Sandy, and who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by the storm.
In so many Bergen County towns, Sandy effectively closed businesses for days on end, displacing workers who only get paid if they work. It has yet to be calculated the amount of money lost among businesses who could not open their doors; especially small, independently-owned businesses. No business=no paying customers=no money to meet payroll.
In New Milford, almost every business along River Road and Main Street was closed due to the power outages that lasted for more than a week. All of these businesses had no income for the time that there was no power--up to 10 days for many of them.
Frankie's Deli, Roman's Pizzeria, What's Cookin', Lieto's, Main Street Grille & Tavern, The Bagel Factory, Soprano's, Brain Freeze, Dairy Queen, Celtic Kitchen, Big Jim's, United Meat Market, China Wok, Golden China, Lotus, and Lantern Chinese are a few of the eateries whose doors were shut.
There were also the nail and hair salons whose doors stayed closed for the week after Sandy-- Chez Rosemary, Inner Bliss Day Spa, Danielle's Place, New Hair Concepts, Arthur Angelo's Full Service Hair and Nail Salon, Salon C, The Nail Shop, Bora Nails, Celebrity Salons, Tris' Barber Shop, Pinkie Nail Salon, and Elite Nails.
The federal DUA is a special program that covers many people who otherwise may not be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance.
If you are unemployed because of the affects of the storm that began on October 28, you should FIRST file for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits through the Internet by going to www.njuifile.net since most impacted workers may already qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance.
The deadline for filing DUA claims involving employment issues arising because of Hurricane Sandy in Bergen County is December 6, 2012. It is the same for Somerset County as well.
The deadline for filing in Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties is December 3, 2012.
The filing deadline in Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Passaic, Salem, Sussex, and Warren counties is December 10, 2012.
Because the volume of claims being filed is high, it is suggested that individuals file via the internet between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Filing via the internet processes claims faster. However, if needed, people may also file a claim by telephone by contacting the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Re-employment Call Centers at:
North Jersey (201) 601-4100
Central Jersey (732) 761-2020
South Jersey (856) 507-2340
Out of State (888) 795-6672
Click here for additional information regarding Disaster Unemployment Assistance, including a list of frequently asked questions.
For more information on FEMA services please call the FEMA emergency number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Information is also available via the Internet at www.disasterassistance.gov and www.fema.gov.