SACRAMENTO – The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reminds workers, business owners and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours reduced as a result of the wildfires, flood and mudslides in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties that the deadline for filing claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
President Trump’s federal disaster declaration on January 15 provides DUA benefits for people affected by the December 2017 and January 2018 disasters. DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits for people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the disasters and who do not qualify for regular state unemployment insurance benefits, such as business owners or self-employed individuals.
Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA benefits through EDD, which will first check to see if applicants can qualify for regular state unemployment benefits, and if not, process the claim for federal disaster unemployment benefits.
DUA applies to losses beginning the week of December 10, 2017. Workers can receive benefits of up to $450 a week for a maximum of 30 weeks. These unemployment insurance benefits are offered to victims of a disaster and available to individuals who meet one or more 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 and 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 is 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 the regular 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 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 verify that the individuals were working or self-employed when the disaster struck. 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 online application, “eApply4UI,” available in both English and Spanish.
Claimants can also file 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
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.