The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it had granted millions of dollars to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee to create temporary disaster recovery jobs, such as tornado cleanup jobs.
Update: Employee Rights Blog originally published “Tornado Cleanup Jobs” for the state of Mississippi, and then added Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee as appropriate. At this writing (5/31), Oklahoma is the most recent state to receive such a grant from the DOL. To learn of new grants since this update, browse the news releases published by the DOL.
President Obama recently declared major disaster areas in the seven states due to damage caused by severe storms and resulting tornadoes, straight-line winds or flooding. That and the devastating amount of damage qualified the labor department in each of the states to receive a National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the DOL, to create temporary disaster recovery jobs.
The temporary jobs provide short-term employment and wages to assist local unemployed workers in getting back up on their feet from the disasters, while also contributing to clean-up, rebuilding and other recovery efforts in the damaged communities. As indicated, the jobs are reserved for local residents who are unemployed.
Generally, the tornado cleanup jobs involve debris removal and the demolition, repair, renovation, and reconstruction of public land and structures in the disaster areas. The same goes for cleanup jobs related to damage caused by straight-line winds or flooding.
The remaining temporary disaster recovery jobs involve humanitarian efforts, social services, counseling, office work, chauffeuring and other job duties and skills as required.
Workers may not collect unemployment benefits while employed full time in temporary disaster recovery jobs because, of course, they are no longer unemployed. However, they might be entitled to start or reinstate benefits if they remain unemployed after their temporary employment ends.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available in many of the recently declared disaster areas for employees and self-employed individuals who became unemployed directly due to tornadoes, straight-line winds or flooding. As with unemployment benefits, workers may not collect DUA while employed in temporary disaster recovery jobs.
To apply for one or more among the tornado cleanup jobs or the other temporary jobs available, start by contacting or visiting the relevant state unemployment office or One-Stop Career Center, or by using its online job-searching facility.
To search for other jobs, start at the Job Search page here at EmployeeIssues.com.