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Two SC counties eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance, unemployment

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Residents of Marion and Orangeburg counties may now apply for federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Matthew damages and losses according to a release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Losses must have occurred during Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4 to qualify.

The first step is contacting your insurance company. FEMA will only help those without insurance or those who are under-insured. FEMA aid will not kick in until after all of your insurance claims are settled.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs,medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.

Applicants are asked to act as soon as possible using one of the following resources.

  • Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App
  • Call 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.


Residents who don't have access to telephone or internet service can go to a disaster recovery center that will open in the near future.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Residents of those two counties may also apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) which provides help for people who lost their job as a direct result of the storm as well as small business owners, the self employed, and contract workers.

Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:

  • Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
  • Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death or injury of the previous major supplier of household income.
  • Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster.


Applicants must first apply for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To apply, call 1-866-831-1724 or go to mybenefits.dew.sc.gov. The deadline for applying is 30 calendar days from the date that the county was declared a disaster.

If the individual is found to be ineligible for UI benefits, a DEW representative will contact them directly and will assist with the DUA application.

Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and other documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the storm hit.


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