JUNEAU — Workers in Western Alaska affected by Typhoon Merbok in September 2022 may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
In response to a request for federal assistance by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the Bering Strait, Kashunamiut, Lower Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon regions affected by the Sept. 15-20, 2022, severe storm, flooding and landslides have officially been declared a disaster area.
Individuals in the disaster area may qualify for DUA if they have experienced any of the following:
- They have exhausted entitlement to regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits;
- Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in an area covered by the disaster declaration;
- Became unemployed or unable to work as a direct result of the disaster;
- Are unable to reach their place of employment or business as a direct result of the disaster;
- Cannot work due to an injury caused by the disaster; or
- Have become the major support of the household due to a death directly related to the disaster.
Applicants may be eligible for $137 to $370 per week for up to 27 weeks beginning the week of Sept. 18, 2022. Applicants must first apply for regular UI benefits by calling (888) 252-2557 or (907) 269-4700, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Applications for DUA must be submitted no later than Nov. 2, 2022.
Applicants will need to provide their social security number, contact information for their most recent employer, and dates worked. Unemployed and self-employed applicants should be prepared to provide documentation about their wages or self-employment earnings. Eligible earnings documentation would be the most recent federal tax records for tax year 2021, proof of employment prior to the disaster, or documents showing pending employment impacted by the disaster.