Storm victims can apply for unemployment benefits

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Workers who have lost their jobs in eight Alabama counties because of storms that ravaged the state may qualify for federal unemployment assistance.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said Friday that workers in Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marshall, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties can file a claim for the benefits. He said the benefits may be available under a federal program that was triggered when President Barack Obama declared the counties a disaster area.

Those who may be eligible include workers whose place of employment was shut down because of storm damage, people unable to work because they were injured in the storms or families where the main wage earner was injured or killed.

Claims can be filed through DIR's website or by calling 1-866-234-5382.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.