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Unemployment assistance for flood victims

PRINCETON — Bureau County residents and business owners who are out of work as a direct result of the April 16-May 5 flooding could be eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance.

On Tuesday, Jay Rowell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), announced 14 counties, including Bureau, Marshall, Stark and Tazewell, have been added to an eligibility list for possible federal assistance for businesses and individuals who are unemployed due to the spring rains and flooding.

Among the counties previously named eligible for this program were Henry and Whiteside.

Rowell said the disaster unemployment assistance program is part of a series of programs made available to Illinois after President Barack Obama agreed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s request for federal disaster declaration.

Individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of the rain and flooding might be eligible for financial assistance, Rowell said. The federal disaster declaration enables people in the designated counties to access temporary housing and to secure grants or loans to help with flood-related losses. Eligible businesses could qualify for low-interest loans, Rowell said.

Applications for the federal disaster assistance are available at IDES offices, with the closest office located at 1550 First Avenue, South Towne, Ottawa. Applications are also available at www.ides.illinois.gov/mmyoffice or by calling IDES at 800-244-5631.

The deadline for applications from Bureau County residents or businesses is June 23.

Rowell said individuals can generally receive benefits as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Eligibility for benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis, with the maximum eligibility time set at 29 weeks, he said.

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