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Disaster Unemployment Assistance available for those who lost jobs, businesses to California wildfires | Dollars and Sense

Temporary unemployment benefits were activated by President Trump's disaster declaration. The application deadline to file with the EDD is Sept. 28th.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California wildfires led President Trump to issue a federal disaster declaration. That declaration opened up the federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance program to people in several counties who wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment benefits through the Employment Development Department, under most circumstances. 

Those presently enrolled in Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), FED-ED, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for DUA.

Workers, including those who were scheduled to start a new job or had their hours reduced by fires, as well as business owners, and the self-employed who don’t qualify for other EDD programs may be eligible for DUA. 

Those who qualify can collect up to $450 in weekly benefits for a maximum of 27 weeks. Claims can start as far back as August 16th, 2020.

Residents of Lake County, Monterey County, Napa County, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, Solano County, Sonoma County, and Yolo County whose employment has been directly impacted by the fires have until September 28th to file a DUA claim with the EDD.

According to the EDD, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days of filing your DUA application. That documentation includes a Social Security number, most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or other documentation to support that the individuals were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. 

Businesses and individuals impacted by the fires may also want to visit the EDD Disaster-Related Services page.

And if you have a question for the Dollars and Sense team, be sure to text it to us at 916-321-3310.

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