A Guide on How to File for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The Department of Economic Opportunity has created a short YouTube video on how to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).  Click on the link below to watch.

What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)?

The purpose of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is to provide Re-employment Assistance (RA) benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular state RA benefits.  The program covers individuals who are self-employed and owners and workers of farms and ranches, as well as, fishers and others who are not normally covered by RA benefits.

What is needed to activate DUA?

An official declaration signed by the President of the United States declaring a major disaster.  Once the President signs an official declaration, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) must issue an official announcement regarding the programs availability.

  • Claimants must file their request for DUA within 30 days of DEO’s official announcement.  DUA benefits are available for up to 26 weeks for individuals who meet the requirements.  Claimants eligible for regular reemployment assistance benefits must exhaust those benefits prior to establishing a DUA claim within the Disaster Assistance Period.

  • Claimant must live or work in the disaster declared county.

    All claimants must have become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster or are unable to reach their place of employment due to the disaster.

    Claimant cannot work due to an injury as a result of the disaster.

    Claimant was scheduled to begin work and now does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster.

When to Apply:
  • Following a disaster declaration by the President and an announcement by the Department of Economic Opportunity, all eligible individuals have 30 days from the announcement date to file a claim for DUA.

How to Apply:
  • Once DUA is declared and available, claimants will be asked about potential impacts from recent disasters when filing for standard Reemployment Assistance benefits.  After the completion of the application for benefits, claimants will be allowed to file a claim for DUA through the main menu in the CONNECT system.  If you cannot  file a claim due to legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers or disabilities you may call 1-800-681-8102 from 8am to 5pm EST, Monday through Friday.  For general information you may call 1-800-204-2418 from 8am to 5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

Information Required When Filing:
  • Social Security Number

    Alien registration number and expiration date (if on-US Citizen)

    Name and Address of most recent employer(s) unable to work due to disaster or

    Name and Address of employer(s), where scheduled to begin work but could not, due to the disaster.  This will include the date work was to begin with employer(s).

    If self-employed, claimant must have proof of self-employment that was directly affected by the disaster, including but not limited to:

    State or Federal tax return

    Financial Statements

    Bank Records of accounts or 1099 Forms


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General Resources



CONNECT link to apply for benefits