March 26, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2019
Media Contact: Jessica Picard, Maine Department of Labor, 207-530-2065 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA - Individuals that relocated to Maine from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits.
The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 was enacted on October 5, 2018, extending the duration of Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals unemployed as a direct result of the major disasters.
This law extends, for purposes of these major disasters in these territories, the number of weeks in the disaster assistance period (DAP) from 26 weeks to 52 weeks after the date of the disaster declaration.
The following individuals are potentially eligible:
- Individuals who exhausted DUA;
- Individuals who exhausted regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), even if they did not apply for DUA during the original disaster assistance period;
- Individuals who had a lapse in continued claim filing, if the reason for the lapse is not disqualifying; and
- Individuals who never applied for DUA (for reasons other than collecting regular UI during the original DAP) if they can show good cause for the late filing.
The original deadline to file for this extension was March 25, 2019. However, due to concerns that people may not have had enough time to file claims by this date, the deadline has been extended in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands another 60 days to May 24, 2019.
To file for extended DUA in Puerto Rico, interstate claimants should contact the Puerto Rico Department of Labor at (787) 945-7898, Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Visit https://www.trabajo.pr.gov/ for information on filing for extended DUA benefits.
To file for extended DUA in the U.S. Virgin Islands, interstate claimants should contact the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) at (340) 715-5712 Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. VIDOL plans to update their website at http://www.vidol.gov/unemployment-insurance/ with information on filing for extended DUA benefits.