Deadline near for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Workers in six Georgia counties affected by Hurricane Michael have until Nov. 15 to file initial claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance 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.  
DUA is a federal program established to help workers whose primary income is lost, or interrupted, as a direct result of an incident declared a federal disaster by the President.  It differs from regular state unemployment insurance in that it provides benefits to people who are self-employed business people, farmers, diversified farming operators, loggers, commission-paid employees, and others who are not eligible under the state’s program.  The maximum weekly benefits amount is $330.  
Individuals in the authorized counties who were directly affected by Michael must first apply for regular unemployment insurance on the Georgia Department of Labor website at or in person at any GDOL career center. The GDOL will notify claimants if they are also eligible to file for DUA.
When applying for DUA benefits, verification of income may be required. Applicants should be prepared to provide proof of earnings for the most recently completed tax year. Acceptable proof of earnings include copies of most recent completed income tax returns, copies of quarterly estimated income tax payment records, or similar documents.
DUA benefits may also be available to individuals who become the breadwinner or who provide major financial support for a household because the head of household died as a direct result of the hurricane. Individuals applying for benefits under such circumstances must present proof of the death of the head of household, such as a death certificate or affidavit.