Disaster Aid Available to Workers In El Paso County
Self-employed workers also may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), workers in El Paso County who were affected by flooding have until September 15, 2006, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1658-DR. To be eligible for help under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1658-DR, you must:

Often, business owners who are self-employed are not aware of potential benefits to which they may be entitled. If you are self-employed, but have lost all or part of your livelihood as a result of this disaster, you may be eligible for benefits. You must provide federal income tax forms (Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F) to receive disaster unemployment benefits. If in doubt, please call one of the toll-free numbers listed below.

To receive DUA benefits, workers must provide documentation indicating an employment record at the time of the disaster or verification of the weeks the applicant was scheduled to work. TWC officials understand that because of property losses, some individuals may not have necessary information readily available. However, that information must be provided within 21 days of filing a DUA claim.

Each claim is considered individually, therefore if you believe you may be eligible for assistance, please call the TWC Tele-Center network at one of the numbers listed below Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, to talk with a representative or file a claim.

El Paso local: (915) 832-6400
Others call toll free: (800) 939-6631

When calling to apply for benefits you should have available, when possible, your: The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending August 12, 2006, and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending February 3, 2007.

For local workforce services, job seekers and employers should contact their local workforce centers in affected areas for revised office hours, temporary closures, or alternate service locations serving local or evacuated individuals. To locate the nearest Upper Rio Grande @ Work Texas Workforce Center, call: Job seekers may visit Texas Workforce centers for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC's online job-search engine, www.WorkInTexas.com.

Workforce center services for employers include job posting and placement services, up-to-date information on the labor market and emerging occupations, and assistance with recruiting, retention, training, tax and hiring incentives. Employers can recruit new staff through www.WorkInTexas.com.

Workforce centers also can offer employers the use of center office equipment and space when they are opening a new building in their respective areas. The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.