Disaster Unemployment Available in Twelve Tennessee Counties

Workers Impacted by December Tornadoes Can Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Thursday, January 20, 2022 | 08:45am

NASHVILLE – Workers whose jobs were impacted by December tornadoes that caused damage in twelve Tennessee counties can now apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

Governor Bill Lee requested federal assistance for Tennesseans living in the counties where tornadoes touched down on December 10 and December 11, 2021.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a major disaster declaration (FEMA-4637-DR-TN), making this assistance available to Tennesseans whose jobs were impacted by the destructive tornadoes in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson counties.

DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to workers, and self-employed individuals, whose livelihood was lost or interrupted due to a major disaster and who do not meet eligibility requirements for the state unemployment program.

Workers whose employment was impacted by the tornadoes can apply for DUA by visiting their local American Job Center, or if they have computer and internet access, they can apply for DUA benefits at https://www.jobs4tn.gov/.

The United States Department of Labor oversees and funds the DUA program, and it is administered by the TDLWD.

Claimants must meet certain criteria to become eligible for DUA, including having one week of unemployment following the date of the disaster, the individual was unable to reach their place of employment after the disaster, the individual was scheduled to start work and the job no longer exists, the individual became the major support because the head of household died because of the disaster, or the individual cannot work because of injuries sustained during the disaster.

Applications for DUA must be filed within 30 days of the announcement of the availability of the program for the impacted areas. The deadline associated with this disaster declaration is February 21, 2022.

Claimants will need to provide proof of employment when applying for DUA. They can use income tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, or work orders to verify employment. If the claimant cannot provide proof of employment when initially applying, they have 21 calendar days from the time they file the claim to provide documentation.

DUA payments are generally paid for up to 26 weeks beginning with the first week following the date the disaster began.

These benefits are subject to federal income tax and individuals may elect to have those taxes withheld from their DUA payment.