SACRAMENTO – Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers, business owners and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the Mendocino Complex fire – comprised of the Ranch and River fires – in Lake County. President Trump’s amended federal disaster declaration on August 17 provides DUA benefits for people who are affected by the fires, but who do not qualify for regular state unemployment insurance benefits.
DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of a disaster. Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the California Employment Development Department (EDD), which will first check to see if applicants can qualify for state unemployment benefits. The deadline for filing claims is September 21, 2018.
“Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides financial support to individuals who lost their jobs or couldn’t work because of these devastating fires,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning. “We encourage those impacted by this disaster to apply for this assistance to recover some of their lost income.”
DUA applies to losses beginning the week of July 29, 2018, and individuals can receive up to $450 a week in benefits for a maximum period of 27 weeks. These unemployment insurance benefits are offered to victims of a disaster and are available to individuals who meet any of the following criteria:
- Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area.
- Cannot reach work because of the disaster or can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
- Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
- Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
- Became the head of their households because of a death caused by the disaster.
- Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and remain unemployed as a direct result of the disasters.
To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes a Social Security number and a copy of the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or documentation to support that the individuals were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.
The fastest and easiest way for new claimants to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s UI Online application, which is available in both English and Spanish.
Claimants can also apply for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday through Friday:
- English: 1-800-300-5616
- Spanish: 1-800-326-8937
- Chinese (Cantonese): 1-800-547-3506
- Chinese (Mandarin): 1-866-303-0706
- Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058
EDD’s Disaster-Related Services webpage includes more information for individuals and businesses impacted by disasters, including tax filing extensions for affected employers. EDD also encourages individuals to visit the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services wildfire recovery website for information on Local Assistance Centers where individuals, families and businesses can access disaster assistance programs and services.
In addition, job seekers can find the America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM location nearest them for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Job seekers also may connect with potential employers through CalJOBSSM, EDD’s online job-search system.
The EDD administers the federal disaster-benefits program in California for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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