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Washington residents who lost their jobs or had their work hours reduced because of the March 22 mudslide near Oso could be eligible for disaster assistance payments, the state Employment Security Department said Thursday.

To qualify, workers must have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced as a direct result of the mudslide and must be ineligible for regular unemployment benefits, according to Employment Security.

Payments will range from $194 to $624 a week, up to 26 weeks.

According to Employment Security, those who may be eligible for the special assistance program and typically could not receive regular unemployment benefits include:

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— Self-employed workers and business owners who can’t operate their business because of the disaster;

— People whose worksite was damaged or destroyed, or is inaccessible because of a road or business closure;

— Employees of a business that received most of its money from another organization damaged or destroyed in the disaster;

— Workers who were prevented from beginning a new job;

— People who cannot work because of an injury suffered in the disaster; and

— People who became the head of their households because of a death caused by the disaster.

Applications must be submitted to Employment Security by May 5. The department has created a special phone line to take unemployment claims tied to the mudslide: 855-636-5610, option 1.

Employment Security is handling the special assistance program on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or On Twitter: @amyemartinez

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