Disaster Unemployment Assistance

November 9, 2018

Workers in six Georgia counties affected by Hurricane Michael have until Nov. 15 to file initial claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to compensate for loss income directly resulting from the storm.

The affected counties are Baker, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Miller, and Seminole.  Any claims filed after Nov. 15 will not be eligible to be paid DUA benefits without extenuating circumstances.

Individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).  DUA benefits are funded by the federal government to assist individuals after a disaster.  Individuals in the authorized counties who were directly affected by the disaster must first apply for regular unemployment insurance (UI) on the  Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website or in person at any GDOL career center.  The GDOL will notify claimants if they are also eligible to file for DUA.
 
Employers may assist employees during periods of lack of work due to a presidentially declared natural disaster by filing partial claims on their behalf.  Filing partial claims electronically results in faster payment. Filing Partial Claims During a Presidentially Declared Disaster Period flyer
 
Counties currently included in federally declared disaster:  Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth.
 
General DUA Information:
  • The Governor must request assistance.
  • The President of the U.S. approves assistance.
  • A signed agreement must be in effect prior to any action being taken.
  • After a disaster is declared, an official announcement regarding the availability of DUA funds must be made by the state employment security agency.
  • All eligible individuals have 30 days from the state or public announcement date to file a timely claim for DUA. If the date of separation is later than the announcement date, state law will apply.
  • The disaster period is the 26-week period beginning with the first week following the date the major disaster began and ending with the 26th week subsequent to the date the major disaster was declared.
  • An individual must exhaust all entitlement to Unemployment Insurance, including, but not limited to: regular state unemployment benefits and Trade Readjustment Assistance, prior to being eligible for DUA. A claimant who is disqualified from receiving regular unemployment benefits may be entitled to DUA.
  • DUA entitlement will be calculated with a base period of the most recent tax year that ended prior to the individual’s unemployment that was the direct result of a disaster.
  • DUA benefits are subject to federal and state income tax.
  • For any week that the claimant’s earnings are in excess of the calculated weekly benefit amount, the individual receives no payment for the week.
  • Appeals Information:
    • Any DUA determination may be appealed within 60 days of the date the determination or redetermination is issued.
    • All DUA appeals will be decided within 30 days of receipt.
    • The appeal decision will provide rights to request a review by the Regional Administrator (RA) within 15 days of the date the decision is issued. 
    • The RA will have 45 days to obtain the records and issue a decision.
    • The decision by the RA must be issued within 90 days after the day on which the claimant’s original appeal was received by the state agency.
  • Non-citizens may receive DUA benefits if they meet the eligibility requirements of the state. Non-citizens must be "able and available" for work and authorized by Immigration and Naturalization Service to work in the United States.
Information Required to File a Claim for DUA:
You must provide the following information to complete your application:
  • Social Security number.
  • Alien registration number and expiration date (if applicable).
  • Name and address of your employer(s) during the last two years, including any out of state employer(s).
  • Proof of earnings or self-employment for the past two years. For example, W-2 statements, state or federal tax returns, bank records of accounts, statement from a bank showing your business account, or a copy of title or deed to a business property.
  • If you were scheduled to work but could not work due to the disaster, you must have the name and address of the employer and date(s) you were scheduled to work.
Related Resources:
Press Release 10/15/18
Press Release 10/17/18