Freelancers Can Apply for Hurricane Sandy Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are available to self-employed people whose income was impacted by Hurricane Sandy and who live or work in the counties in designated Hurricane sandy County disaster areas.  In New York State, for example, the counties are all of the counties in NYC, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester.

How much do I get and for how long?

This Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program makes payments of up to $405 per week through their State Department of Labor. The maximum payable period is 27 weeks, beginning October 29, 2012  through May 5, 2013. You may be able to continue receiving Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and earn an income if that income is significantly diminished.

What’s the deadline for applying?

Applications must be complete by December 3, 2013 for NYS and CT. New Jersey’s deadline is February 4, 2013.

What Do I need to apply?

Here is how NYS answers this:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your NYS driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have one)
  • Your mailing address and zip code
  • A phone number where you can be reached for additional information
  • Your alien registration card number (if you have one) and
  • Your 2011 income tax return:
  • Self-employed workers: Schedule C (line 31) net profit or loss

How do I apply?

Applications are being taken by telephone

  • NY: 888 469 7365
  • NJ: North Jersey: 201 601 4100, Central Jersey 732 761 2020, South Jersey 856 507 2340
  • CT: Call Infoline at 211.

Please check with your State Department of Labor for further information

If you are a W-2 worker who lost your job because of Hurricane Sandy, you should also contact your unemployment office. If, however, you qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, you will not be eligible to receive these DUA payments as well.

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