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Deadline for disaster unemployment benefits extended

Sand is being pumped out from the Moriches

Sand is being pumped out from the Moriches Inlet and a bulldozer works to fill in the Fire Island breach near Cupsoque State Park. This is the first of three breaches the the Army Corps of Engineers plans to fill after superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 26, 2012) (Credit: John Roca)

The deadline to apply for disaster unemployment benefits has been extended to Feb. 28, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Thursday. The deadline was Feb. 4.

The federal benefits became available after superstorm Sandy for workers who lost their jobs or income because they live or work in an area hard hit by the storm, such as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Self-employed individuals are also eligible. The program has broader criteria than the traditional unemployment program.

The benefits program is federally funded and requires the state Department of Labor to determine first if a claimant qualifies for regular unemployment benefits before the disaster benefits are offered.

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