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Unemployment Assistance

How to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance and When Do You Have to Apply?

The Unemployment Assistance, people who lost their employment as a result of the California wildfires this summer have a longer window to claim for supplemental compensation.

The US Department of Labor has extended the deadline for filing for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payments in six California counties: Plumas, Lassen, Tehama, Placer, Nevada, and Trinity. They were set to expire on October 1st, but they could potentially be extended until November 30th, 2021.

DUA applies to losses beginning the week of July 18, 2021. Benefits for qualifying full-time employees vary from $147 to $450 each week for up to 32 weeks, with the final week being paid on February 26, 2022.

Who is qualified to take part in the competition?

Individuals in the six counties affected who meet any of the following criteria are eligible for DUA benefits:

Worked or planned to start work or self-employment in the disaster area, or were a business owner or self-employed there. This includes, but is not limited to, agricultural and fishing workers.

You are unable to go to work, work, or provide services due to physical damage or destruction to your place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.

Can show that the job or self-employment they are unable to do was their primary source of income, and that you are unable to work or engage in self-employment due to an injury acquired as a direct result of the disaster.

They became the heads of their households as a result of a death caused by the disaster.

Have applied for and used all standard unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for standard unemployment benefits and are still unemployed as a result of the disaster.

What is the process for filing a claim for benefits?

For new claimants, the EDD’s UI Online application, which is available in both English and Spanish, is the quickest and easiest way to apply for DUA. Applicants may also seek assistance from local job centers, Local Assistance Centers, and Disaster Recovery Centers.

Claimants can also apply for benefits by contacting the following hotline, which is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

Call 1-800-300-5616 for more information (in English)

Call 1-800-326-8937 for more information (Spanish)

For Chinese, dial 1-800-547-3506. (Cantonese)

For Chinese, dial 1-866-303-0706 (Mandarin)

Call 1-800-547-2058 for more information (Vietnamese)

To receive DUA benefits, all required documents must be submitted within 21 days of the DUA application being filed. This contains the person’s most recent tax return.


In the event of a disaster, EDD provides the following services.

The California Employment Development Department’s Disaster-Related Services website has more information for people and businesses affected by disasters, including tax filing extensions for affected businesses.

Individuals, families, and businesses are also encouraged to visit the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ wildfire recovery website for information on Local Relief Centers where disaster assistance programs and services are available.