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Federal aid may cover some storm costs

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Chris Caya/WBFO news
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Relief could be on the way people who lost a paycheck because of last month's snow storm. But the region must first be declared a disaster area.

If damage and cleanup costs reach $28 million and the state and federal governments declare the region a disaster area, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told reporters in Buffalo yesterday that some residents will be entitled to unemployment insurance.

"Anyone who lost work, lost a paycheck, couldn't get to work, was hurt during the storm, any type of impediment to getting your paycheck, you can apply for unemployment insurance," Gillibrand said.

Representative Brian Higgins says the entire delegation is prepared to advocate aggressively in Washington on behalf of Buffalo and Western New York.
     

"Remember the storm really hasn't ended," Higgins said.

"The weather aspect has ended. But we're entering a new phase. And that is to ensure that we're not here a couple of months from now disputing what is eligible and what is not."
 
In order to speed the process, Higgins and Gillibrand are urging residents, local governments, businesses, and farmers to document all storm related costs.