• Director Dispatches, Finance

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Assistance for Freelancers

As part of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, freelancers are eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program. So what does this mean?

For New York freelancers:
Eligible freelancers may be compensated up to **$405/week **through New York State’s Department of Labor. Here is the quick summary of who may be eligible:

  • You must show lost income from the storm
  • You must live/work in the five boroughs or Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester County.

The only way to apply for this program is to call the NYS Department of Labor hotline at 888.209.8124. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 3rd 2012.

The NYC Office of the Public Advocate, lead by Bill de Blasio, has created a helpful PDF resource – in this document you can find a summary of eligibility, required documentation, and other important information.

For New Jersey freelancers:
Freelancers who live or work in any county in New Jersey and lost income as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy are eligible to apply.

  • Everyone must first apply for traditional unemployment insurance. It should take about 48 for your application to be reviewed and a determination to be made.
  • Once you are deemed ineligible for traditional UI, you can then apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance by calling one of the following numbers: Union City (201.601.4100), Freehold (732.761.2020) Cumberland (856.507.2340), Out of State (888.795.6672)
  • Within 21 days of applying for assistance, applicants need to submit proof of employment to the NJ Department of Labor. Freelancers will need to submit their most recent tax return with Schedules C, C-EZ or F. It should take about 2 weeks for your application to be reviewed and a determination to be made.
  • Freelancers may be eligible for up to $611/week.

The deadline for applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is February 4, 2013. Additional information is available here at the New Jersey Department of Labor.


Sara Horowitz As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.