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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Miscellaneous MI 80

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program is a Federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and State Employment Security Agencies. It is administered under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, as amended by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act of 1988.

The President of the United States is authorized to provide benefit assistance to individuals unemployed as a result of a major disaster. The President declares that a major disaster exists at the request of the Governor of the affected state and authorizes the following:

  1. Type(s) of Federal assistance to be made available.
  2. Geographic areas that have been adversely affected by the disaster.

The Presidential declaration may authorize Individual Assistance (IA), which includes the provisions for DUA, to families and individuals. When the President declares that a major disaster exists in a State, the Governor of each State is notified by written communication.

Upon issuance of the Presidential declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes appropriate notification of the declaration to the affected public. The following announcement is published in the Federal Register:

Section 625.4 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) outlines the eligibility requirements for DUA:

"An individual shall be eligible to receive a payment of DUA with respect to a week of unemployment, in accordance with the provisions of the Act and this part if:

  1. That week begins during a Disaster Assistance Period;
  2. The applicable State for the individual has entered into an Agreement which is in effect with respect to that week;
  3. The individual is an unemployed worker or an unemployed self-employed individual;
  4. The individual’s unemployment with respect to that week is caused by a major disaster, as provided in § 625.5;
  5. The individual has filed a timely initial application for DUA and, as appropriate, a timely application for a payment of DUA with respect to that week;
  6. That week is a week of unemployment for the individual;
  7. The individual is able to work and available for work within the meaning of the applicable State law; provided, that an individual shall be deemed to meet this requirement if any injury caused by the major disaster is the reason for inability to work or engage in self-employment; or, in the case of an unemployed self-employed individual, the individual performs service or activities which are solely for the purpose of enabling the individual to resume self-employment.
  8. The individual has not refused a bona fide offer of employment in a suitable position, or refused without good cause to resume or commence suitable self-employment, if the employment or self-employment, could have been undertaken in that week or in any prior week in the Disaster Period; and
  9. The individual is not eligible for compensation (as defined in § 625.2(d)) or for waiting period credit for such week under any other Federal or State law, except that an individual determined ineligible because of the receipt of disqualifying income shall be considered eligible for such compensation or waiting period credit. An individual shall be considered ineligible for compensation or waiting period credit (and thus potentially eligible for DUA) if the individual is under a disqualification for a cause that occurred prior to the individual’s unemployment due to the disaster, or for any other reason is ineligible for compensation or waiting period credit as a direct result of the major disaster."