1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
Alison Doyle

Hurricane Sandy Unemployment Benefits & Disaster Assistance

By November 10, 2012

Follow me on:

UPDATED: 11/10/12: Workers who have lost their jobs, even temporarily, because of Hurricane Sandy may be eligible for unemployment benefits and/or disaster assistance. For current claimants, some payments may be delayed because of power outages and state office closures.  However, some unemployment offices have extended deadlines for filing weekly claims because of the storm.

For new claimants, unemployment benefits may be available for workers who have lost their jobs due to Sandy. If you are out of work because of the storm, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) or state Unemployment Insurance (UI).  Unemployed workers will need to meet the standard eligibility requirements for collecting state unemployment benefits.  Self-employed individuals are also eligible for disaster assistance.

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Unemployment Assistance

In order to qualify for disaster unemployment benefits your employment or self-employment must have been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster, and you must have been determined not to be eligible for regular state unemployment insurance.  Major disasters have been declared in some counties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and information on filing for benefits is available online:

State Department of Labor / Unemployment Phone Numbers

  • CT:  Call Infoline at 211
  • NJ: North Jersey    (201) 601-4100, Central Jersey (732) 761-2020, South Jersey  (856) 507-2340
  • NY:  1-888-469-7365

Check with your state unemployment office website for more information on filing a claim for unemployment and for updates on your claim. Offices may have lost power, so there may be delays in processing applications and weekly claims.  If there are delays, you will not lose any benefits; however your unemployment payment may be delayed.

Hurricane Unemployment Benefits

Jobs for Those Who Are Out of Work Because of Sandy

Federal funds have been awarded to hire temporary workers to assist with hurricane recovery efforts.   To be eligible, workers must be unemployed as a result of Hurricane Sandy or unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits or other types of income support.  In addition to these positions, private employers are also hiring workers to help with clean up.

Scam Warning: There have been news reports of many different types of scams affiliated with the storm.  There are several different types of unemployment scams to watch out for, but, in general, it's important to know that you are only person who can file for unemployment compensation.  Third parties cannot file unemployment claims.

Related: Bad Weather Pay if Office is Closed | Hurricane Clean Up Jobs | Disaster Unemployment Benefits

Connect With Alison:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn
November 6, 2012 at 8:12 am
(1) Mo says:

Our office closed for 4 days. Everyone is now back at work and used either vaction time, dock time or were allowed to make up the hours lost.

Would these employees be eligible for UI benefits?

November 6, 2012 at 10:26 am
(2) Mari says:

My job lost power for a week. We were told we have to use our vacation time. Personally, I don’t have any left meaning I won’t get paid for that week. There are a few others with the same situation. Are we eligible for UI?

November 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm
(3) Kathy Kortes says:

Hi – Working as a paraprofessional in New Jersey, we lost seven days pay. Since we are hourly workers, are we eligible for unemployment benefits?

November 8, 2012 at 10:16 am
(4) anonymous says:

Same here too! At my place of employment, we have no sick time, personal days or vacation time. So employees are out on their luck. Any advice for us?

November 8, 2012 at 10:22 am
(5) Alison Doyle, Job Search Guide says:

Benefits vary based on your employment history and where you are located, so the best thing to do is check with your state department of labor website (the links are in the above post).

Impacted states have updated information on available benefits and who qualifies.


November 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm
(6) Tricia says:

My job was closed for a week due to not having power and I was told to use my vacation time but I dont have any left so I didn’t get paid for a week would I be able to collect unemployment for that week??

November 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm


November 19, 2012 at 10:20 am
(8) Mmyls14 says:

My husband lost his job due to Hurricane Sandy. The company is back up and running however more than half of the employees have not been called back and won’t be called until after the new year. Others they have decided to let go. My husband was one of the ones that was laid off permanently. He applied for UI and was approved. But now He has found temporary employment cleaning debri after Hurricane Sandy. Once the temporary employment ends, would he be able to re-open and start collecting if he’s unable to find work?

November 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm
(9) Anonymous says:

I’m a paraprofessional in New Jersey.My school was closed for a week due to power outages in town.There are no benefits .No sick days,no personal days and no vacation days.I’m a hourly worker.Am I eligible
for Ui.

November 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm
(10) Quentin Clark says:

hello i wanted to clean up for hurricane sandy.? please contact me 313 974 8130

December 3, 2012 at 11:47 am
(11) Cal says:

My small business in NJ of about 6 employees was out of power/out of work for 6 full business days. However, we paid our employees for the week because they were on salary and we didn’t want to freeze their income. Now we, the business, would like to recoup the money we paid to our employees while they were out of work. Is this possible? I cannot get a human operator on the phone when I call any of the numbers provided for the DUA. Any insight?

I was only successful in talking to a FEMA representative that said we do not qualify for their assistance since we already paid the employees.

December 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm
(12) Fridda Corletto says:

I HAVE FOUND THE ANSWER (for New York anyways)!!! After being on hold for 27 minutes. You should file for UA or DUA benefits if you missed any days of work during the hurricane. There is typically a one week waiting period which means you will not get paid for one week. SINCE most everyone missed work for only one week, Govenor Cuomo is going to make a decision if he is going to “WAIVE” the one week waiting period or not. He has not made the decision as of today 12/7/12. If and when he does those of us that have already filed will automatically get that week paid those that haven’t filed should file. Hope this clarifies it for everyone and I hope Govenor Cuomo does right by us. One weeks pay is detrimental to some of us. Thank you.

February 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm
(13) Irene Frintzilas says:

I lost my job as a unit clerk at Long Beach Medical Center due to hurricane sandy. I want to continue my medical coverage until the hospital opens and I return to my position, but Corba is too expensive is there any assistance for me? Please let me know the monthly payment is very expensive. Thank you

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.