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September 16, 2008    DOL Home > Newsroom > Hurricane Recovery Assistance   

Hurricane Recovery Assistance

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The U.S. Department of Labor is assisting in the recovery efforts in Florida and the Gulf Coast communities affected by this season's hurricanes.

The Department of Labor support includes the following income and job assistance:

  • DOL's National Contact Center
    1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
    The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. To find your state's unemployment insurance information, visit
    • Hurricane Wilma:
    • Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:
      • Texas, 1-800-939-6631. For job placement information, visit the Texas Workforce Commission's Web site or call 1-800-735-2988 or TDD at 1-800-735-2989.
      • Louisiana, over the Internet at or at the nearest Louisiana Job Service Center. Claimants who were previously receiving benefits, have questions, or need to change their address should call 1-866-783-5567.
      • Mississippi, 1-888-844-3577 or by visiting any office of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. A list of sites that are currently open is available at
      • Alabama, 1-866-234-5382 or TTY at 1-800-449-2035.
  • Hurricane Recovery Job Connection
    This service connects workers impacted by the devastation caused by the Gulf Coast hurricanes with employers who want to hire them. It will also support the hiring associated with critical clean-up efforts in impacted areas.
  • National Emergency Grants (NEGs)
    Impacted states can apply for NEG funds that can be used to temporarily employ dislocated workers. These funds can be used to employ workers on projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims.
    Learn how to apply for a National Emergency Grant.
  • Employee Retirement, Health, and Other Benefits
    The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) protects more than 6.7 million retirement, health, and other benefit programs sponsored by private sector employers nationwide. The agency is helping workers and employers by providing relief through the following actions:
    • Find Updated Contact Information for Your Retirement or Health PlanPress Release
      Due to the disaster, many employers and their employees have lost communication with each other. Sponsors of employer provided retirement and health benefit plans that were located in the disaster area are encouraged to provide us with their new contact information. We will post the updated information on this site enabling employees/plan participants who lived or worked in the disaster area to find updated contact information for their employer or plan administrator. If you are the sponsor of a plan and want to provide corrected contact information for this site, or if you are a participant who cannot reach your plan administrator and have questions about your benefits, contact one of our Benefits Advisors for assistance toll-free at 1-866-444-EBSA (3272).

    • Improved Access to 401(k) Loans and WithdrawalsHardship 401(k) Loans and WithdrawalsGuidance
      Provides guidance for employers and plan officials to help victims of Hurricane Katrina obtain distributions and loans through 401(k) and similar employer-sponsored plans.

    • COBRA, HIPAA and Health Claim ExtensionsPress ReleaseFR Notice
      Extends a number of deadlines related to health plan coverage, giving workers and employers affected by Hurricane Katrina additional time to make critical decisions regarding health coverage.

    • Disaster Relief/Form 5500 Filing Extension Information
      Grants additional time for filing Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ annual return/reports for employee benefit plans affected by disaster.

Hazards from weakened and damaged trees, downed power lines, high water, and other dangers remain from Hurricanes Wilma, Katrina, and Rita. We urge citizens to be mindful of instructions from state and local officials. Individuals in declared counties can register online for disaster assistance at or call FEMA’s toll free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); for the hearing impaired TTY 800-462-7585.

Public Service Announcements

Fact Sheets on Natural Disaster Recovery from OSHA

News Releases

View all news releases from this season's hurricanes.

Phone Numbers