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Disaster Unemployment Assistance

U.S. Department of Labor > Disaster Unemployment Assistance


Program Description:

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a Presidentially declared major disaster.


General Program Requirements:

In order to qualify for this benefit your employment or self-employment must have been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States. You must have been determined not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (under any state or Federal law).

Payment will be made to an unemployed worker, who as a direct result of a Presidentially declared major disaster:

  • No longer has a job.
  • Is unable to reach their place of work.
  • Was to commence work and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job.
  • Has become the breadwinner for the household because the head of household died as a direct result of the disaster (if you became a breadwinner due to the death of a self-employed individual as a direct result of the disaster, you are considered an unemployed worker for DUA purposes).
  • Cannot work because of a disaster-incurred injury.
With exceptions for persons with an injury and for self-employed individuals performing activities to return to self-employment, individuals must be able to work and available for work, which are the same requirements to be eligible for regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

To determine your eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, you should contact the state unemployment insurance agency in the state where you are located as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. In some states, you can now file a claim by telephone and the Internet.





Loan Terms:

Not Applicable


Application Process:

For more information, see the Program Contact Information below.


Program Contact Information:

More information about this program and where to apply for benefits under this program is available at:

You can also call:

People who are hearing impaired may call this toll-free TTY number:


Managing Agency:

U.S. Department of Labor

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