RALEIGH – The Division of Employment Security (DES) has announced that the following counties have been approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew: Craven County, Martin County, Tyrrell County, and Washington County. This brings the total to 27 counties that have been approved for DUA.Additional counties may be added to the DUA availability designation at a later date.In order to assist citizens in this State that have suffered losses and are likely to suffer imminent further widespread losses, Governor Pat McCrory has directed DES TO NOT ENFORCE the one-week waiting period and job search requirements for individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster in the counties approved in the President’s declaration.Individuals from these four counties who are affected by the disaster and are unable to continue working must file an application for benefits within 30 days from today – or, by November 16, 2016. Workers who became unemployed as a direct result of the effects of Hurricane Matthew impacting North Carolina, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the DUA program. Business owners affected by the storm may also qualify for benefits.Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:• Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits. If you are eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits, you must first exhaust those benefits before you are eligible for DUA.• Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.• Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.• Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death or injury of the previous major supplier of household income.• Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.• Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented from doing so by the disaster.DUA is funded entirely by the federal government. Individuals need to file first for regular unemployment insurance. If an individual is determined ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, or has exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits, a DUA claim can then be filed. Individuals will need their Social Security number, copies of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, or documentation to support they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.DUA is available for weeks of employment beginning with the week starting October 9, 2016, and lasting for up to 26 weeks, as long as the claimant’s unemployment continues to be as a result of Hurricane Matthew.Individuals may contact DES by calling 1-866-795-8877 from 8AM to 5PM to apply for DUA benefits. Individuals are encouraged to file as soon as possible. If you are self-employed, you will be required to submit your most recent Federal Income Tax returns and/or your profit and loss statement to establish your weekly amount. If claimants have any questions, they can email DES at email@example.com or go to our website at www.ncesc.com.For an updated list of counties that have been approved, please visit the News and Highlights section at www.ncesc.com.