Unemployment assistance available to Black Forest fire residents


black-forest-300x200People who lost their jobs because of the Black Forest fire might be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, a federal program that provides temporary financial assistance to workers.

The benefits are available to people who have lost their jobs because of a disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

A major disaster declaration was issued for the Black Forest fire by President Barack Obama. Thanks to the declaration, people might be eligible for unemployment benefits if their unemployment resulted from physical damage or destruction of their workplace, or if the worksite became inaccessible because it was closed by federal, state or local authorities in response to the wildfire.

Claims can be filed at www.coloradoui.gov.

People who are in the burn area and receiving unemployment benefits will receive a waiver from their requirement to seek work starting June 11, the date the fire started. People must continue requesting payment of benefits.