Texas Employees Have One Month to Apply for Disaster Assistance Money | KERA News

Texas Employees Have One Month to Apply for Disaster Assistance Money

Originally published on June 3, 2015 12:42 pm

In the roughly 13 years that Tom Keyser has owned Ino’z Brew & Chew 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," he said. 

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

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

They offset some of the costs through the GoFundMe fundraising website, and a donation from a local Knights of Columbus chapter. They raised more than $8,300 to help their employees.

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

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

Not all businesses have reopened or been able to fundraise, however, and since Texas had the most violent weather in the country in May, including hail, tornadoes and severe flooding, a lot of people are out of work.

Employees in Harris, Hays and Van Zandt Counties might qualify for government help.

"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," says Lisa Givens with the Texas Workforce Commission. 

The Texas Workforce Commission is offering the Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This money’s a result of the disaster declaration made through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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

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