The Vermont Department of Labor is pleased to announce that the US Department of Labor has approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadline for Individual Disaster Unemployment Assistance to November 21, 2011. The previous filing deadline for individuals for individuals in Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor was October 7, 2011 and for individuals in Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties the deadline was October 21, 2011. The US Department of Labor notified Vermont today that they have approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadlines for all of the counties that were declared a disaster area as a result of the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. The covered disaster assistance period continues to begin on August 27, 2011 and end on March 3, 2012. The first payable week remains week ending September 3, 2011. An individual must be continuously unemployed as a direct result of the disaster in order to continue to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If eligible, he or she can collect benefits for the weeks during which they meet the necessary criteria. Individuals who experience temporary job loss as a result of the disaster and who do not qualify for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. To ensure that all disaster victims have an opportunity to file a timely application for DUA, we request an extension to the DUA application period for Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor, Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties creating a uniform deadline of November 21, 2011. An individual may qualify to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance if: You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.Your workplace was damaged, destroyed, or you cannot work because of the disaster.Your transportation to work is not available.You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the impacted area where means of transportation are not available.You were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster.You derived most of you income from areas affected by the disaster, and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster. Please call the Vermont Department of Labor’s Claim Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3330 if you are an unemployed worker or self-employed individual who lived, worked, or was scheduled to work in a county that has been declared a disaster area by the federal government to determine you eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. For more information, please visit www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external).