Disaster unemployment assistance available for Western Alaskans

Oct. 3, 2022 FastCast
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:46 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An additional resource is now available for Western Alaska residents unable to work due to the effects of last month’s devastating storm.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced in a press release on Monday that it would be extending Disaster Unemployment Assistance to residents of the regions most affected by the storms caused by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok.

Eligible applicants can receive $137 to $370 in weekly assistance for up to 27 weeks, starting with the week of Sept. 18.

Those living in the Bering Strait, Kashunamiut, Lower Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon regions are eligible to apply for disaster unemployment assistance if certain criteria are met.

Applicants who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits can apply for the disaster benefits if they meet the following requirements:

  • They worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to being work or self-employment in an area covered by the current disaster declaration, prior to Sept. 18
  • Became unemployed/unable to work as a direct result of the storms caused by Typhoon Merbok
  • Are unable to reach their current place of employment as a direct result of Typhoon Merbok
  • Cannot work due to an injury caused by the typhoon
  • Have become head of household due to a death directly related to the disaster

Applications for disaster unemployment assistance are available until Nov. 2 and can be made by calling (888) 252-2557 or (907) 269-4700 between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Monday through Friday.

Applicants will need to submit documentation including their social security number, most recent employment dates, and contact information from their employer. Unemployed and self-employed applicants will also need to provide wage or income documentation such as federal tax records for the previous year or proof of current or pending employment, established prior to the disaster.