Flood Victims Get More Time To Apply For Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Sen. Vitter Says FEMA To Provide Crisis Counseling

U.S. Senator David Vitter

BATON ROUGE (AP) — People who lost jobs or income because of the flooding across south Louisiana have more time to apply for disaster unemployment assistance.

         The Louisiana Workforce Commission announced Thursday that it was extending the application period to Oct. 14 in the 20 parishes that were part of the federal disaster declaration. The unemployment assistance is available from Aug. 14 through Feb. 18.

         The aid is available to people who can't work because of flooding damage to their job site or an injury from the flooding — and who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

         Applications can be filed online at www.laworks.net or by phone at 1-866-783-5567. The workforce commission is encouraging people to apply through the website, warning that delays are likely if someone tries to file by phone.

         In a news release Wednesday, Sen. David Vitter's office announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Louisiana with $6.8 million to fund crisis counseling for flood victims.

         The release says the grant is for counseling, education and development of coping skills. The state will be responsible for distributing the money from FEMA's Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program.

         Program funds generally go to community-based shelters, community centers and churches. In some cases, in-person services are made available at survivors' homes.

         Earlier this week, FEMA announced funding for free crisis counseling for storm-affected children, administered by the state health department.



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