Self-employed Sevier County wildfire victims have difficulty finding aid

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Hundreds of businesses and homes were destroyed in the Gatlinburg wildfires.

In the month and a half since, many have been able to get help through the My People Fund or the Gatlinburg Relief Fund, but not everyone.

Tessa Moyers and Jimmy Bennett lost their jobs when the cabin’s they cleaned were destroyed.

Related: Free legal, business assistance for Sevier County fire survivors

“I’ve been everywhere, done everything and like I say, they’re just helping the victims that lost their homes that burnt down and I understand the jobs that’s great what they’re doing but what about the people that’s self-employed the 10-99,” said Bennett.

WATE 6 On Your Side took their question to FEMA.

“If they didn’t have any damage to their primary residence, then the assistance that is available to them is in the form of disaster unemployment assistance that is a program that is administered by the state that is funded by FEMA,” said Michael Peacock with FEMA. “They should contact the state’s unemployment office and let them know that they have been impacted, their job has been impacted by the fires and they’ll file a disaster unemployment claim.”

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