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Texas News

Texas Employees Have One Month to Apply for Disaster Assistance Money

flickr.com/photos/steevithak/ (CC BY 2.0)

Texas had the most violent weather in the country in May - including hail, tornadoes and severe flooding. That caused a lot of people to lose work. Some may qualify for government assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission. 

In the roughly 13 years that Tom Keiser has owned Ino’z restaurant in Wimberley, he’s been flooded three times. And last month’s flooding was the worst.

"This water level inside the building and in the restaurant itself was the highest it’s ever, ever been," Keiser said.

It got 18 inches of water in areas including the kitchen and main dining area. That meant Keiser had to close down his restaurant for five days. Which was tough for him, his partner and their 35 employees.

"Economically that was a real hardship for everyone," Keiser added.

They offset some of the costs through the Go Fund Me fundraising website. And a donation from a local Knights of Columbus chapter. They raised more than 83-hundred dollars to help their employees.

Despite the experience, Keiser says he’s not going anywhere.

"It goes beyond it’s a good place to live," Keiser We love it here."

But not all businesses have reopened or been able to fundraise. Employees in Harris, Hays and Van Zandt Counties might qualify for government help. Lisa Givens is with the Texas Workforce Commission which is offering the Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This money’s a result of the disaster declaration made through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

"If your employment has been affected by the severe flooding and storms that we experienced here in Texas, you may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits," Givens said. 

Applications must be submitted by July 1st and they’re available at the Texas Workforce Commission’s website.