SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans who lost their jobs after hurricanes Maria and Irma can start applying for disaster unemployment assistance after the U.S. doubled the 26 weeks of benefits.
The National Employment Law Project said Wednesday that more 10,000 Puerto Ricans are eligible and that lump-sum payments could total nearly $30 million, with individual payments ranging from $2,000 to $3,000.
But legal advocates say the conditions set by Puerto Rico’s government will make it hard for many to apply. They say workers have to provide documents in person and that internet options are unavailable.
Advocates are trying to reach out to families that qualify but worry they won’t reach many given that more than an estimated 130,000 people fled Puerto Rico after the two major hurricanes hit the Caribbean in September 2017.
The Associated Press