Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) now available to San Diego County workers impacted by severe winter storms


NR No. 24-09
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry

SACRAMENTO – San Diego County workers whose employment or self-employment was impacted by severe winter storms and flooding between January 21 and January 23, 2024, are now able to apply for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits. The new DUA availability follows a presidential major disaster declaration (FEMA-4758-DR) that was issued on February 19, 2024.

The Employment Development Department (EDD) administers these benefits, which are available to workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or businesses, or had their work hours reduced due to impacts brought about by the severe storms.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that individuals in San Diego County who lost work or self-employment as a direct result of impacts caused by severe storms and flooding in the area, designated as the disaster area under Declaration FEMA 4758-DR, are now eligible to apply for federal DUA benefits.

The DUA benefits apply to losses beginning the week of January 28, 2024, for people impacted by the storms and flooding. Eligible full-time workers can receive between $183 and $450 per week in benefits for a maximum period of 30 weeks, provided they continue to meet all requirements for DUA eligibility. Part-time workers may also be eligible for benefits. Eligible individuals who were unemployed as of January 28 can have their benefits backdated to cover the entire period they were unemployed as a direct result of the disaster. The last payable week of this emergency benefit ends August 24, 2024.

DUA benefits are offered to victims of a federally-declared disaster and are available to individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits and meet any of the following criteria:

  • Worked, or were a business owner or self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area. This includes, and is not limited to, those in the agricultural and fishing industries.
  • Cannot reach work because of the disaster or can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Became the head of their household because of a death caused by the disaster.

The EDD is required to first check to see if the person applying for DUA is eligible for regular state-provided benefits before processing the claim for DUA benefits. Individuals must have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, and remain unemployed as a direct result of the disaster. Also, the work or self-employment they can no longer perform must have been their primary source of income.

DUA benefit claims for individuals from San Diego County must be filed by April 2, 2024, which is 30 days after this announcement, unless the individual has good cause to submit an application later. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes the 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. Documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks, government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.

The fastest and easiest way for people to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s UI Online application, which is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Individuals seeking DUA benefits can also get assistance at local job centers or apply in person at Local Assistance Centers, or Disaster Recovery Centers that opened in San Diego County on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at these locations:

Mountainview Community Center

641 South Boundary Street

San Diego, CA 92113

Spring Valley Library

836 Kempton Street

Spring Valley, CA 91977

For more details, including hours of operation, visit California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) News.

In addition, people can apply for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays:

  • English and Spanish: 1-800-300-5616
  • Armenian: 1-855-528-1518
  • Cantonese: 1-800-547-3506
  • Mandarin: 1-866-303-0706
  • Korean: 1-844-660-0877
  • Tagalog: 1-866-395-1513
  • Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058
  • All Other Languages: 1-800-300-5616. Interpreter services are available free of charge.

EDD’s Disaster-Related Services webpage includes more information for individuals and businesses impacted by disasters, including tax filing extensions for affected employers. EDD also encourages individuals to visit the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website for the latest information on Local Assistance Centers where individuals, families and businesses can access disaster assistance programs and services.

Job seekers can find the America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM location nearest them for access to job-search resources, job postings, and training programs as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development, and more. Job seekers also may connect with potential employers through CalJOBSSM, EDD’s online job-search system. These services are provided at no cost.

The EDD administers the federal disaster-benefits program in California for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.