The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, is a program designed to provide unemployment benefits to people who have been made unemployed by direct result of a disaster; More specifically, a presidentially declared major disaster.

To qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, your employment or self-employment, must have been lost as a direct result of a major disaster declared by the president of the United States. You must also have been found ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits. The United States Department of labor overseas the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program and coordinated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agencies work together in order to provide funds to the state of benefits during a declared major disaster.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance payout period begins with the first day of the week following the date that the major disaster occurred. It may continue for up to 26-weeks after the date that the president declared is a major disaster. The maximum weekly payout is determined under state law provisions for unemployment benefits in the state where the disaster occurred. The minimum weekly payout is no less than half of the average unemployment benefit amount for the state.

The following are considered qualifications for an applicant to obtain Disaster Unemployment Assistance, given that the state of unemployment was caused from a presidential acclaimed major disaster:

  • You no longer have a job
  • Cannot work due to disaster related injury
  • You must become the head of the household and are seeking work due to the unexpected death of the head of house hold caused by a major disaster.
  • Cannot work due to damage at place of work
  • You are unable to reach your place of work due to the disaster

In the event of a major disaster that the president has ruled a major disaster, the state or states effected with announce the availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance. In order to file a claim, the individuals who have been deemed unemployed by disaster, should contact their State Unemployment Insurance agency. If you have been moved or evacuated, you should also contact the state Unemployment Insurance Agency of the state the it originated from.

The following agencies and contacts are available to help you file a claim:

  • Career one stop- locate local Unemployment resources by state
  • United States Department of Labor- toll free 1-877- 872-5627
  • United States Department of Labor- TTY Number 1-877- 889-5627
  • United States Department of Labor- Resources and program overview