President Obama Needs to Approve Remaining Florida Counties for Disaster Declaration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Floridians who have lost jobs as a result of severe storms and flooding during Hurricane Matthew may be entitled to federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance. On October 17, 2016, the federal government approved a limited part of Governor Scott’s request for a major disaster declaration for Flagler, St. Johns, Volusia and Putnam counties, allowing the use of Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds for individuals affected by the storm.  Gov. Scott is continuing to urge President Obama to approve the remaining counties that were impacted by the storm.

Governor Scott said, “I have spoken firsthand with many families and business owners who were impacted by Hurricane Matthew. We are committed to helping these communities fully recover from this devastating storm, and helping Floridians get back to work is one of the most important ways to do so. Disaster Unemployment Assistance will provide necessary resources for individuals and families in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties, but there are many areas along our east coast that still need the federal government’s support. I continue to urge President Obama to make these designations today so all of the communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew can begin the recovery process.”

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, assists individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular reemployment assistance benefits.  The program also covers self-employed individuals, owners of farms and ranches, farm and ranch workers, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state reemployment assistance benefits.

DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “After Hurricane Matthew, many Floridians returned to communities devastated by the storm. Some people lost their jobs as a result of the damage, and the Disaster Unemployment program will help serve as a bridge to help these families transition to a new job. After a disaster, we are committed to using all of our available resources to help Floridians and their communities recovery quickly.”

Applicants must file a request for disaster benefits by November 18, 2016. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents and must have been working in or residing in Flagler, St. John, Volusia and Putnam counties.

The individual must: (1) have become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster or (2) be unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster or (3) have been scheduled to begin work and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster or (4) have become the major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster or (5) be unable to work because of an injury caused directly by the disaster.

To file a Disaster Unemployment claim, go to or call 1-800-681-8102.



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