Unemployment and Legal Aid Offered to MO Storm Victims




Unemployment and Legal Aid Offered to MO Storm Victims
By: Amy Jacquin

Many severe storm victims with damaged or destroyed homes are still looking for help. Now, different state agencies are offering assistance. They want to reduce the suffering as much as possible. One is offering free help, the other want you to get the money you deserve.

The Jackson tornado tore up businesses as well as homes, and the loss of one antique shop also means the loss of jobs. The Missouri Department of Labor has set-up a program to help people who are unemployed due to the recent severe weather. Disaster Unemployment Assistance helps those employees who are not eligible for benefits under the state's regular unemployment insurance company.

If you think you qualify for disaster unemployment help, stop by the unemployment office in your home county for more information.

Another program helps storm victims find the legal help they need. The Missouri Bar Association has established a Spring Storm Legal Assistance Project, to help storm victims in the Show-Me state.

"I paid the contractor. Well, I'm sorry he didn't pay us," attorney Dick Steele gives some possible scenerios. "Our lumber went into your house and therefore we're putting a lien on your house. And that is serious business". Steele says victims simply may not realize what they're responsible for. "A replacement policy is the best," he says about insurance policies. "That's the Cadillac. And that means you replace your house. With a 'cash value' policy, you don't replace your house. It's whatever the face amount of the policy is. If it's a $100,000, that's all you get... even though it may cost a $150,000 to replace it".

If you're a storm victim and looking for legal advice, call the Missouri Bar Association at 1-800-829-4128.