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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State and federal officials are urging North Carolinians who are out of work because of Hurricane Irene to apply for unemployment benefits before it’s too late.

The state Employment Security Commission can pay benefits to certain categories of workers to compensate for income lost to the Category 1 storm. The deadlines to file applications for assistance vary by

The first deadline is Friday for people living in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrrell counties. Deadlines for unemployment assistance in the other 28 counties where people are eligible will fall on Oct. 3, Oct. 5 and Oct. 11.

People who are eligible under the program include farmers, agricultural workers, the self-employed and other people not covered under regular unemployment insurance programs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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