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Deadlines approach for disaster assistance

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Lincoln Parish residents who may be eligible for various forms of disaster assistance as a result of the March flooding and serve storms have two deadlines approaching.

Disaster unemployment assistance applications are due May 5, while disaster loan applications for physical damages are due May 12.

Local storm victims may also qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The deadline for income tax returns normally due Monday has been extended to July 15, according to a press release issued Thursday by the IRS.

Affected taxpayers should visit the IRS website, irs.gov, or call 800-829-1040 for information.

Meanwhile applicants can file for the unemployment assistance online at www.laworks.net, or by visiting the local Louisiana Workforce Business and Career Solutions Center located at 307 North Homer St., Suite 307. Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Disaster loan applications, as well as information about the loan process, are available at the recently opened Small Business Administration Disaster Recovery Center located in the Jonesboro Community Center, 167 Industrial Drive in Jonesboro.

The center also serves Lincoln Parish, Cynthia Cowell, SBA public information officer, said Wednesday.

The SBA handles all federal disaster loans for businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

“Anybody who was affected by the flooding during March 8 to April 8 can request these loans,” Cowell said.

The first step is registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she said.

Individuals or businesses that have not already registered with FEMA should call 800-621-3362.

Cowell said homeowners and renters should submit an SBA disaster loan application even if they aren’t sure they’ll need or want a loan.

Applications may be filed online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, at the Disaster Recovery Center in Jonesboro or mailing the application to 14925 Kingsport Rd., Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243.

As to the Disaster Unemployment Assistance, individuals seeking the aid must demonstrate that they:

• Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;

• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;

• Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;

• Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;

• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster or

• Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.

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