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Unemployed workers, farmers affected by severe weather may apply for assistance

PIERRE, S.D. – Workers in a number of South Dakota counties who lost their jobs due to severe weather earlier this fall may be eligible for assisatnce.

People who lost their jobs, self-employed individuals and farmworkers who have been unable to work due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between Sept. 9-26 may be eligible for benefits through the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. The state's Department of Labor and Regulation said on Friday that it is accepting applications. 

Those who may be eligible for DUA assistance include those in Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody and Yankton counties, as well as the Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation and the Yankton Indian Reservation, who: 

  • Do not qualify for regular state unemployment benefits in any state
  • Worked, were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, but were unable to do so because of the disaster
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster
  • Cannot reach their place of employment or self-employment location because they must travel through the disaster area and are prevented from doing as a direct result of the disaster
  • Have been prevented from work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster
  • Establish work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income; or 
  • Have become the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because of the death of the head of the household. 

Individuals may apply for assistance by calling the Claims Call Center at 605-626-3179. The department said callers must specify that their claim is related to DUA and the storms. Applicants will need their Social Security number, copies of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, and documentation of employment, self-employment or prospective work when the disaster occurred. 

All required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Claims must be filed by Thursday, Dec. 26. For more information: