Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:04

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Benefits Now Available for Those Affected by Butte Fire

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 Valley Fire in Lake County or the Butte Fire in Calaveras County. President Obama’s federal disaster declaration of September 22 opens the way for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for people who were affected by the fires, but who do not qualify for regular UI benefits.


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 Oct. 26, 2015.

“There are so many who have lost so much due to the fires,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr. “At EDD, we’re here to lend a helping hand to those individuals as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

DUA applies to losses beginning the week of Sept. 13, 2015, and benefits are up to $450 a week for up to 28 weeks.


The assistance will go to a wide range of people, including:

  •   The self-employed and business owners who cannot operate their businesses.


  •   Workers who have exhausted their regular UI benefits.


  •   People who cannot reach work because of the fire.


  •   People who suffered an injury in the fire that prevents them from working.


  •   Workers whose worksite was damaged or destroyed.


  •   Employees of a business that received most of its revenue from another entity that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster.


  •   Newly hired workers who were prevented from beginning work.


  •   People who became the head of their households because of a death

    caused by the disaster.


  •   Workers who did not earn enough money to qualify for regular benefits.


  •   People who were unable to qualify for a regular state funded unemployment



    Self-employed individuals filing DUA claims must provide evidence of self-employment, such as tax returns and business records which can be obtained from banks or government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.


    The fastest and easiest way for people to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s online application, "eApply4UI”, at The application is available in both English and Spanish.

English: 1-800-300-5616

The EDD administers the federal disaster-benefits program for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Claimants can also file for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday throughFriday: