Post-Hurricane Irma Resources

UPDATED 10/11/17 at 6:00 p.m.

 

Deadline Extended to File for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announces the extension to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance to October 31, 2017. Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Irma.

DUA is available to those who:

Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;

  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state; and
  • Due to the disaster:
    • Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Cannot reach the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the head of household died as a direct result of the disaster.

Applications filed after the October 31, 2017, deadline will be considered untimely, and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause. Applicants must submit their Social Security number, pay stubs, and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.

DUA is available for the weeks of unemployment beginning September 10, 2017 until ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­March 17, 2018, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. To file a DUA claim go to http://www.floridajobs.org/ or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 1-800-204-2418 and choose option 2 to speak to a customer service representative.

 


 

 

Workforce Programs Available Post Hurricane Irma

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, local workforce boards across the state have resources available to those who find themselves without employment, as well as to businesses who may have been impacted.

Programs to assist are as follows:

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment were lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Irma. Those in Sumter, Lake, Osceola, Orange, and Seminole counties are able to apply for this benefit through CareerSource Central Florida (CSCF).

DUA is available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because of the death of the head of household.

DUA is available from weeks of unemployment beginning September 10, 2017, until ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­March 17, 2018, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.  Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by October 31, 2017 (this was extended from Oct. 16).

To file a DUA claim, go to http://www.floridajobs.org/ or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 1-800-204-2418 and choose option 2 to speak to a customer service representative.

National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG)

Through the DWG, CareerSource Central Florida can assist individuals who were unemployed before Irma, or lost employment due to the storm, with temporary employment opportunities that include: administrative, humanitarian, cleanup, and restoration activities. Currently, CSCF is working with community partners to identify worksites and potential temporary work assignments.

As opportunities and worksite are identified, more information will be made available. If you are interested in a potential, paid temporary work assignment, please submit your interest here: https://cscfit.formstack.com/forms/dislocated_worker_disaster_recovery_opportunities

CareerSource Central Florida realizes that businesses may be impacted by the storm and need to connect to resources to aid in recovery:

Florida Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), is available to help businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

The Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked to pursuit of other sources. Please note: this program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds and is not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer-term disaster recovery assistance.

Loan Details

Amount: Between $1,000 and $25,000.

Term: 90 or 180 days, based on individual business circumstances.

Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term.

Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the loan term, otherwise penalties apply.

Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator.

Non-Payment Penalties: Penalties for non-payment will begin at the expiration of the established term of each loan, and will be as follows:

  • 12% per annum on the unpaid balance for the first 180 days following expiration of the established term.
  • 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter.
  • Default is subject to normal commercial collection process.

Application Period

Applications will be accepted under this program through Oct. 31, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds, for small businesses with two (2) -100 employees established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, located in any of Florida’s 67 counties that have been physically and/or economically impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Get Started

  1. • Visit floridadisasterloan.org
  2. • Review eligibility & loan process.
  3. • Gather required documentation.
  4. • Download application form.
  5. • Complete & submit application form. Contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office at (850) 898-3489 for instructions.

Contact Information

For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office.

Phone: (850) 898-3489.

Email: disaster@floridasbdc.org.

Businesses Reporting Damage

Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey to help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. The survey can be found at www.flvbeoc.org.