Lauderdale County added to federal disaster declaration

Strong winds caused this tree to fall on this house in Florence
Strong winds caused this tree to fall on this house in Florence

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Wednesday that two additional counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration that provides for assistance for workers who became unemployed as a direct result of recent severe storms.

People in Lauderdale and Lamar counties may now qualify for unemployment assistance.

Counties previously designated are Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan Pickens, Shelby , St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, and Winston.

People who live in or worked in these counties and become unemployed due to the severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, and straight-line winds during the period of April 15, 2011, and continuing may be eligible for the assistance under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program, which was triggered when President Obama designated the area as a disaster area on April 28, 2011.

Those who could qualify include: individuals who no longer have a job, are unable to reach the place of employment, or were scheduled to start work in the major disaster area and the job no longer exists; those who became the breadwinner or major support of the family because the head of household died, or those who cannot work because of an injury incurred during the major disaster. All of the previously described circumstances must be as a direct result of the storms. Self-employed individuals must provide a copy of their 2010 income tax records.

Claims can be filed through DIR's website at or by calling 1-866-234-5382. The deadline to file a DUA claim is June 2, 2011, for Lamar and Lauderdale counties.

The deadline to file a claim is May 31, 2011, for Colbert, Etowah, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, and Morgan counties.

The deadline is May 30, 2011, for Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Lawrence, and Marshall counties.