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Small businesses could qualify for disaster unemployment

Business owners affected by superstorm Sandy could qualify for disaster unemployment assistance, according to the state Department of Labor.

Unlike regular unemployment insurance, federally-funded disaster unemployment aid is available to those who are self-employed or own a farm or business. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis, but key factors are whether the applicant is performing less than their normal, full-time service and whether the person is earning wages less than $405 a week, according to the state Department of Labor.

The department, which administers the assistance, put out a fact sheet outlining some of the eligibility requirements. Among some of the qualifying situations described are:

 — Your business or farm was damaged or destroyed in the disaster.

 — Most of your income comes from areas affected by the disaster, even if you worked for yourself, and your business or farm income has been impacted as a direct result of the disaster.

The maximum payable period is 27 weeks, beginning Oct. 29, 2012 through May 5, 2013, for those affected by superstorm Sandy. The deadline to file an application is Dec. 3, 2012.

The fact sheet is available at  http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/ui/P814FSE.pdf.

To apply or learn more information about disaster unemployment assistance, call 888-209-8124.

Tags: Sandy , small business , disaster , unemployment

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