The Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) urges residents who are eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to register before the new deadline. V.I. DOL Commissioner-designee Gary Molloy has announced an extension to DUA. VIDOL, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, has secured an extension for all residents of the territory who became unemployed as a direct result of hurricanes Irma and/or Maria and remain unemployed.
The opportunity for eligible residents to receive benefits will be limited. Once a claimant returns to work, DUA eligibility benefits may end.
The following information details deadlines and additional eligibility criteria:
• Individuals who have exhausted Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims and remain unemployed as a result of the disaster.
• Individuals who have exhausted regular Unemployment Insurance claims and Extended Benefits claims and remain unemployed as a result of the disaster, even if they did not apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance during the original disaster assistance period.
• Individuals who had a lapse in continued claim filings and remain unemployed as a result of the disaster if the reason for the lapse is not disqualifying (e.g., the lapse didn’t result from the individual returning to suitable work).
• Individuals who have never applied for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (for reasons other than collecting regular Unemployment Insurance benefits or Extended Benefits during the original disaster assistance period) if they can show good cause for the late filings.
The V.I. Unemployment Insurance Agency notifies the public that a registration package and notice of eligibility were mailed out beginning March 25 to relative claimants who may qualify for the extended Disaster Assistance benefits. Individuals who received a package must complete the application and return it to the Unemployment Insurance office along with all supporting documents requested.
Once the application is processed, the individual will receive an appointment date. However, no appointments are necessary, and walk-ins and new applications will be accepted. All applications will be reviewed before processing to determine eligibility.
For St. Thomas and St. Croix claimants, unemployment insurance representatives will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays at normal locations: 2353 Kronprindsens Gade, St. Thomas, and 4401 Sion Farm Ste. 1, St. Croix.
For St. John claimants, an unemployment insurance representative will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Mondays and Wednesdays, in Cruz Bay at the St. John Legislature.
Applicants no longer residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive an application by mail, or if no application is received, claimants may call 715-5712. Information is also available on the department’s website at www.vidol.gov.
Commissioner-designee Molloy reminds the public that eligible individuals will have until July 31 to file an initial application and continued claim certifications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.