Disaster Unemployment Assistance

To provide special federally funded weekly benefits to workers and self-employed individuals who are unemployed as a direct result of a Presidentially-declared major disaster, and who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits paid by States.

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of addresses for FEMA's Regional Offices.
Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Payment of DUA weekly benefits and reemployment assistance services to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a Presidentially-declared major disaster.

Funds are used for benefit payments to individuals, project administrative costs to States, oversight payments to Department of Labor (DOL), and technical assistance.

DUA weekly benefits and reemployment assistance require proof of employment eligibility, proof of employment or self-employment to assist in determining a Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA), and aliens must prove they are "qualified aliens" (as determined by the Immigration and Naturalization Service) in order to be eligible to receive a federal public benefit.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Disaster victims who have experienced direct loss of employment as a result of a Presidentially-declared major disaster designated for DUA.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Eligible disaster victims in designated major disaster areas.


FEMA Disaster Assistance Regulations 44 CFR Part 206.141 and the DOL Regulations at 20 CFR Part 625.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The State Governor makes a request for a Presidential declaration of a major disaster through the appropriate FEMA Regional Director having jurisdiction over the State.

Requests for assistance must be made by the Governor in accordance with FEMA Disaster Assistance Regulations, 44 CFR 206.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or officials designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Upon declaration of a major disaster declaration designated for DUA, applicants may make application with their local State Workforce Agency (SWA).

Award Procedures

Funds are allocated from the President's Disaster Relief Fund and FEMA transfers funding to DOL for use in designated major disaster areas declared for DUA.


Generally, applications for DUA must be filed within 30 days after the date of the SWA announcement regarding availability of DUA. When applicants have good cause, they may file claims after the 30-day deadline. However, no initial application will be considered if filed after the 26th week following the declaration date.


Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 410, Public Law 93-288, as amended, Public Law 100-707, 42 U.S.C. 5178.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Normally, within 1 to 2 weeks.


Appeals must be filed in accordance with DOL Regulation 20 CFR Part 625.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

DUA may be paid from the period beginning with the first week (as defined in State law) following the date the major disaster began, and extending up through, but no longer than, the 26th week following the Presidential major disaster declaration date.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress status reports are required.


Internal program audits are conducted.


Record retention in accordance with DOL Regulation 20 CFR Part 625.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct Payments/Services) FY 07 $8,398,718; FY 08 est $12,619,457; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

FEMA Regulations at 44 CFR 206.8, 44 CFR 206.141, and DOL Regulations at 20 CFR Part 625.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of addresses for FEMA's Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), c/o 245 Murray Lane Building #410, Washington, DC 20523. Telephone: (800) 621-FEMA (3363).

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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