Individuals in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River Counties in Mississippi, who were unable to work because of Hurricane Isaac may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) has announced.

People who live or work in one of the affected counties and could not work because of major destruction caused by Hurricane Isaac that began August 29, are entitled to apply and may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Self-employed individuals, who were living or working in the affected areas at the time of the major disaster, and those who are unemployed as a result of the major disaster, may be eligible for DUA.  In addition, those who were unable to reach their jobs, because the disaster prevented their travel, or who were scheduled to begin employment, but the disaster prevented them from doing so, may apply.

Eligible to apply for DUA are individuals who:  (1) became the major support for a household because of the disaster-related death of the head of the household; (2) cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; (3) could not work or lost work as a result of physical damage or destruction of a business, and; (4) are unable to work because of the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal government.

Individuals in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River Counties in Mississippi, can apply online 24 hours a day at www.mdes.ms.gov or by calling toll-free, (888) 844-3577 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is October 4, 2012.