Unemployment help is available now and more might be on its way, for workers who’ve lost jobs or self-employment income due to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
If you are an employee who has recently become unemployed due to the Gulf oil spill, then you might qualify for 26 weeks of standard state unemployment benefits followed by up to 73 weeks of extended unemployment benefits (Emergency Unemployment Compensation or EUC).
To apply for standard state unemployment benefits, contact the unemployment office (or the nearest full-service One-Stop Career Center) in the state in which you work, the same as would if you became unemployed for a reason other than that caused by the Gulf oil spill. The unemployment office will send you application instructions if and when you qualify for extended unemployment benefits.
Self-employed people don’t qualify for either standard or extended unemployment benefits. However, if you have lost self-employment income directly due to the Gulf oil spill, then you might qualify for unemployment compensation of sorts from British Petroleum (BP), the company responsible for the spill. To file a claim for loss of self-employment income, see “How to make a claim” at BP’s Web site. Visit the Claims section at Deepwater Horizon Response for updates.
Did you know? A variety of paid oil spill jobs are available for local employees and contractors, ranging from laborers to professionals. Paid oil spill jobs are also available for local boat captains and their crews.
More oil-spill unemployment help might be on its way. President Obama sent a proposed legislative package to congress earlier in May that will provide unemployment and re-employment assistance beyond the ordinary, if required, as summarized below.
Oil Spill Unemployment Assistance
If the need arises, this part of the President’s legislative package will provide oil-spill unemployment assistance in a new federal program that will be similar to Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Qualified workers who’ve lost jobs while ineligible for standard unemployment benefits will receive up to 26 weeks of this unemployment compensation, as will qualified self-employed people who’ve lost income.
Oil Spill Employment Assistance
If required due to the economic impact of the Gulf oil spill, Obama’s legislative package will also provide expanded funding to re-train and re-employ workers who were laid off due to the spill. Training and employment assistance will be provided through state and local workforce investment agencies, which typically put the word out through local publications, businesses, community organizations and One-Stop
The oil-spill unemployment and employment assistance programs, if activated, will be of particular help to fishermen along the Gulf Coast who’ve lost jobs or self-employment income because of the spill. For information about other legislative oil-spill recovery efforts, see the White House fact sheet entitled “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Legislative Package”.
Beware of scams! Con artists crawl out of their dark and slimy places after disasters, to exploit victims by charging bogus fees for filing unemployment claims. Filing an unemployment claim is always free. Never pay a fee, no matter how “governmentally official” or unsuspecting the so-called “offer” appears to be. There are several other disaster recovery scams to avoid too.
Oil Spill Disaster Resources
- American Red Cross
- Conduct a Job Search
- Deepwater Horizon Response
- Disaster Help and Resources
- Low-Interest Disaster Loans
EmployeeIssues.com is updating “Gulf Oil Spill Unemployment Help” as more information becomes available. The last significant update was on 6/21/2010. To follow this post for future updates (if any) or to be notified of new posts about the same topic, subscribe to Employee Rights Blog for free.