LITTLE ROCK — Residents of 11 Arkansas counties who became unemployed as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding between Dec. 26 and Jan. 22 may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, the state Department of Workforce Services said Wednesday.

LITTLE ROCK — Residents of 11 Arkansas counties who became unemployed as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding between Dec. 26 and Jan. 22 may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, the state Department of Workforce Services said Wednesday.


At the request of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, President Barack Obama on Friday issued a major disaster declaration that made public assistance available for 32 counties and for individuals in 11 counties.


Residents of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Faulkner, Jackson, Lee, Jefferson, Little River, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties who have temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, such as self-employed people, may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, which provides benefits up to 32 weeks.


The first possible week of compensation is the week that began Jan. 2. The last possible week of compensation will be the week ending Aug. 6.


Claims must be filed between Feb. 10 and March 11 at Department of Workforce Services. DWS also will provide re-employment assistance where appropriate.


Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely, and benefits will be denied unless the person shows good cause for filing after that date.


To be eligible for benefits, a person must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster no longer has a job or a place to work in the area or is unable to get to the place of work because of disaster damage. A person also may qualify if he or she has been prevented from working because of an injury or illness resulting from the disaster.


People filing claims should bring a copy of their government-issued photo identification, Social Security card, the name and address of their last place of employment and documents verifying income, such as income tax statements, recent pay stubs or W-2 forms.


DWS said it will make an effort to work with claimants to confirm their income information and expedite the claims-taking procedure if they are unable to produce documents because of the disaster.