Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2011
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

State Senator Glenn Hegar Reminds Wildfire Victims of Approaching Deadline to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Austin, Texas--Wildfire victims may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Workers, who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to wildfires, may apply for assistance.

Several counties in Senate District 18 are eligible for aid, based on the expansion of the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Eligible counties include Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette and Waller Counties. Throughout Texas, our citizens have faced over 21,000 wildfires in 2011, which have burned 3.8 million acres and destroyed almost 7,000 structures.

"A federal disaster declaration was announced for the counties that have been most impacted by recent wildfires," said Senator Hegar. "This declaration will go a long way in assisting Texas citizens as they struggle to get back on their feet. I also encourage all of us in this great state to join together throughout the upcoming months and years to help our fellow Texans renew and rebuild. Although the wildfires have been devastating, I have every confidence that the Texas spirit of camaraderie and determination will ultimately prevail."

Victims of the counties included in the declaration must submit Disaster Unemployment Assistance applications by the deadlines outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Deadlines are based on when the Disaster Declaration was issued for each particular county. Deadlines are as follows:

Victims of wildfires in these counties should apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits by logging onto or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CST) at 1-800-939-6631. Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the wildfires. Victims may also call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or visit to locate their nearest disaster recovery team.

Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.