The date to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in 35 counties affected by Hurricane Irene has been extended to Nov. 1.
The following counties now have until Nov. 1 to file: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Currituck, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.
Those who qualify can receive benefits dating back to the week of Sept. 3.
Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:
• Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment
• Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster
• Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster
• Individuals who have become the major support of a household, because the head of household died as a direct result of the major disaster.
• Individuals who are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster
• Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster
State and federal officials are urging North Carolinians who are out of work because of Hurricane Irene to apply for unemployment benefits before it's too late.
The state Employment Security Commission can pay benefits to certain categories of workers to compensate for income lost to the Category 1 storm.
The deadlines to file applications for assistance vary by county. The first deadline is Friday for people living in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.
Deadlines for unemployment assistance in the other 28 counties where people are eligible will fall on Oct. 3, Oct. 5 and Oct. 11.
People who are eligible under the program include farmers, agricultural workers, the self-employed and other people not covered under regular unemployment insurance programs.