EDD Disaster-Related Services

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The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of services to individuals and businesses affected by disasters in California. EDD staff located throughout the state are often called upon to lend a hand at Local Assistance Centers or Disaster Recovery Centers established by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) or federal authorities.

The EDD currently has staff available in established centers in the recent wildfire areas who provide:

  • Assistance with filing claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
  • Job search assistance.
  • General support, referrals, and resources.

For individuals filing for Unemployment Insurance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits, Bank of America may be able to assist in expediting your first payment. To find out more, visit the Expedited Payment Assistance page.

Employer support services may also be available along with Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits for eligible workers.

Current State-Declared Disasters

The first column lists affected counties, other columns contain information regarding the waived waiting week for unemployment benefits, available federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and extensions for employers to file and pay payroll taxes.
Disaster Location Waiting Week for Unemployment Benefits Waived Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available Extensions for Employers to File and Pay Payroll Taxes
Butte County – Camp Fire For claims filed between 11/8/18 and 5/8/19 For losses beginning the week of November 11, 2018. Deadline for filing DUA claims is December 14, 2018. Refer to the Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties DUA News Release (PDF). Up to 60-day extension from 11/8/18
Colusa County – Mendocino Complex Fire For claims filed between 7/31/18 and 1/31/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/31/18
Lake County – Pawnee Fire For claims filed between 6/23/18 and 12/23/18 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 6/23/18
Lake County – Ranch and River Fires (Mendocino Complex) For claims filed between 7/27/18 and 1/27/19 For losses beginning the week of July 29, 2018, late applications may be considered. Refer to the Shasta and Lake Counties DUA News Release (PDF). Up to 60-day extension from 7/27/18
Los Angeles and Ventura Counties – Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire For claims filed between 11/8/18 and 5/8/19 For losses beginning the week of November 11, 2018. Deadline for filing DUA claims is December 14, 2018. Refer to the Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties DUA News Release (PDF). Up to 60-day extension from 11/8/18
Mariposa County – Ferguson Fire For claims filed between 7/13/18 and 1/13/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/13/18
Mendocino County – Ranch and River Fires For claims filed between 7/27/18 and 1/27/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/27/18
Napa County – Steele Fire For claims filed between 7/28/18 and 1/28/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/28/18
Orange and Riverside Counties – Holy Fire For claims filed between 8/6/18 and 2/6/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 8/6/18
Riverside County – Cranston Fire For claims filed between 7/25/18 and 1/25/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/25/18
San Bernardino County – Monsoonal Rainstorm Not applicable Not applicable Up to 60-day extension from 7/13/18
San Diego County – Pasqual Fire Not applicable Not applicable Up to 60-day extension from 7/27/18
San Diego County – West Fire For claims filed between 7/6/18 and 1/6/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/6/18
Santa Barbara County – Holiday Fire For claims filed between 7/6/18 and 1/6/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/6/18
Shasta County – Carr Fire For claims filed between 7/23/18 and 1/23/19 For losses beginning the week of July 29, 2018, late applications may be considered. Refer to the Shasta and Lake Counties DUA News Release (PDF). Up to 60-day extension from 7/23/18
Shasta County – Delta Fire For claims filed between 9/5/18 and 3/5/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 9/5/18
Siskiyou County – Klamathon Fire For claims filed between 7/5/18 and 1/5/19 None at this time Up to 60-day extension from 7/5/18

Waiting Week for Unemployment Benefits Waived

Governor’s Emergency Proclamations usually waive the non-payable one-week waiting period for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments to eligible individuals affected by current disasters. This means individuals can be paid benefits for the first week they are unemployed due to the disaster.

The UI program provides partial wage replacement benefits to workers who lose their jobs, or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Learn more about the Unemployment Insurance program and eligibility requirements for collecting benefits.

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

A Presidential Disaster Declaration can make federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) available for individuals effected by a disaster. DUA is a federal program that provides temporary unemployment assistance to individuals whose work or self-employment is interrupted due to a major natural disaster and who do not qualify for regular state-provided UI benefits, such as farmworkers, business owners and the self-employed.

If and when DUA benefits become available to disaster victims in California, the EDD will update this page and issue a news release with pertinent details and information.

Eligibility for DUA benefits generally applies to those individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster and meet at least one of these conditions:

  • Have applied for and received all regular unemployment benefits from California or any other state, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
  • Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area. Self-employed individuals in particular most often benefit from having DUA available.
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment due to the disaster, or cannot reach work because of the disaster.
  • Have not worked long enough or have not earned enough in wages to qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused by the disaster and don’t qualify for State Disability Insurance.
  • Became the head of their household because of a death caused by the disaster.

Extensions for Employers to File and Pay Payroll Taxes

Employers directly affected by a disaster may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.

For more information about how to request an extension and other employer assistance available, visit Emergency and Disaster Assistance for Employers.

You can also learn about assistance available through the Internal Revenue Service’s Help During Disasters web page.

Other Disaster-Related EDD Services

Job Search Assistance

In disaster situations, our EDD Workforce Services representatives will often be available along with our UI and Tax representatives in Local Assistance Centers that may be established by the State OES. They can provide a wide range of job search assistance and employer support services, as well as other general support, referrals, and resources.

For California’s online job exchange system, visit CalJOBSSM.

Disability Insurance Benefits

Disability Insurance (DI) provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. If you were injured by the disaster, you may be eligible for DI benefits.

To apply for DI benefits, submit a Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) using SDI Online or by mail. If you need a paper version of the DE 2501, you can order the form through the Online Forms and Publications page or contact DI by phone.

Paid Family Leave Benefits

Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides benefits to individuals who lose wages when they need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner. If you need to care for a family member injured in the disaster, you may be eligible for PFL benefits.

To apply for PFL benefits, submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) using SDI Online or by mail. If you need a paper version of the DE 2501F, you can order the form through the Online Forms and Publications page or contact PFL by phone.