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It shouldn't come as much surprise that the employees of many businesses that have been damaged or washed away are now without paychecks. It's ironic how at exactly the time people most need their income in order to recover from personal losses, the income was washed away, too.

Vermont offers Disaster Unemployment Assistance. You can apply via the department of labor website at: http://labor.vermont.gov

Assistance is available to individuals whose employment has been lost or interrupted as a result of a major disaster. Weekly benefits are available to those individuals out of work due to the storms and floods, including self-employed persons, farm workers, maple sugar producers and others not covered under regular unemployment insurance.

Sadly, the site is out of date, so one of the important announcements on the home page is a notice that the filing deadline is approaching. The deadline to which they refer is for the MAY floods, not the current flood. Do get your application in early, though. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will start getting your benefits.

For those in need, or seeking ways to help, here's a basic round-up. (See also the excellent resource page at Common Good VT - these and more are listed there.):

To Help:

Donate to the Food Bank Text FOODNOW to 52000
Offer a hand, or equipment http://vtresponse.wordpress.com/
Donate to VT Irene Flood Relief Fund (to help small businesses) Flood Relief Fund
To help in Montpelier Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts
If you need help or information:
Special low-interest loan fund specifically to help farms and small businesses recover Call VEDA at 802-828-5627 or go to www.veda.org.
Farmers with crop and material losses file a claim with the USDA http://t.co/...
Home owners file a claim for assistance for home and property damage Call 211
To get info on current road closures Dial 511 or see the road closure map: http://crisislanding.appspot.com/...
If you're seeking volunteers for your cleanup efforts VTResponse web site
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