Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits now available for those affected by the California wildfires

Do you own your own medical or dental practice? Read the article below!

This is an important development for any businesses in California affected by the devastating wildfires earlier this month. We encourage you to share this information with anyone who may find it helpful, as it applies to *both* employees and business owners. Please note that every applicant must individually qualify based on the criteria provided, so you may wish to check with an employment law professional to verify your eligibility.

As always, members of our HR Solution Center are encouraged to contact us directly if they have any questions about this announcement or how it may affect them.

SACRAMENTO – Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the wildfires in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, and Yuba counties. President Trump’s federal disaster declaration of October 10, 2017, opens the way for DUA benefits for people who were affected by the fires, but who do not qualify for regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

As just announced by Governor Brown, DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to jobless workers and the self-employed whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the fires. Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The deadline for filing claims is November 16, 2017.

“The losses and devastation due to the fires are staggering for so many Californians,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning. “EDD is here to support and help those in our communities as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

DUA applies to losses beginning the week of October 15, 2017, and benefits are up to $450 a week for up to 26 weeks. These unemployment insurance benefits are offered to victims of a disaster, and are available to individuals who:

  • Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or who do not qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or selfemployment in the disaster area.
  • 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, or cannot reach work because of the disaster.
  • Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was 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.

To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA 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 support that the individuals were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Such 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” which is 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

EDD’s Disaster Related Services webpage includes more information for individuals and businesses impacted by disasters, including tax filing extensions for affected employers. EDD also encourages individuals to visit the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) website for information on local assistance centers, which provide referrals for individual and public assistance.

In addition, job seekers can find the America’s Job Center of California location nearest them for access to job-search resources, job postings, and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Job seekers also may connect with potential employers through CalJOBS, EDD’s online job-search system.

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.

Via Employment Development Department – State of California

Oct 24, 2017

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance based on applicable local, state and/or federal U.S. employment law that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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