General Disaster Unemployment Assistance Information

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a federally funded benefit program that assists individuals who become unemployed because of a disaster. This program works as follows:

  • The Governor must request assistance.
  • The President of the United States approves assistance.
  • A signed agreement must be in effect prior to any action being taken.
  • After a disaster is declared, an official announcement regarding the availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds must be made by the state employment security agency.
  • All eligible individuals have 30 days from the announcement date to file a claim for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If the date of separation is later than the announcement date, state law will apply.
  • The disaster period is the 26-week period beginning with the first week following the date the major disaster began and ending with the 26th week subsequent to the date the major disaster was declared.
  • Depending on the date of the declaration, it is possible for individuals to receive more than 26 weeks of benefits.
  • An individual must exhaust all entitlement (Reemployment Assistance, Emergency Unemployment Compensation) prior to being eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. A claimant who is disqualified from receiving regular reemployment benefits may be entitled to Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
  • The Disaster Unemployment Assistance entitlement will be calculated with a base period of the most recent tax year that ended prior to the individual’s unemployment that was the direct result of a disaster.
  • For any week that the claimant’s earnings are in excess of the calculated weekly benefit amount, the individual receives no payment for the week.
  • Appeals Information:
    • The claimant will have 60 days to appeal a determination or redetermination.
    • All Disaster Unemployment Assistance appeals will be decided within 30 days of receipt.
    • The claimant will have 15 days to appeal the referee’s decision to the Regional Administrator.
    • The Regional Administrator will have 45 days to obtain the records and issue a decision.
    • The decision by the Regional Administrator must be issued within 90 days after the day on which the claimant’s original decision was received by the state agency.
  • Aliens may receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits if they meet the “able and available” criteria by state law, Aliens must be “able and available” for work and authorized by Immigration and Naturalization Service to work in the United States.

Apply Online: CONNECT

You must provide the following information to complete your application:

  • Social Security number.
  • Alien registration number and expiration date (if applicable).
  • Name and address of your last employer.
  • If you worked in another state during the past two years, have the name and address of the out-of-state employer.
  • If self-employed and have proof of self-employment for the past two years. (For example, W-2 statements, state or federal tax returns, bank records of accounts, statement from a bank showing your business account, or a copy of title or deed to a business property.)
  • If you were scheduled to work but could not work due to the disaster, you must have the name and address of the employer and date you were scheduled to work.
An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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