NR No. 23-31
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry
SACRAMENTO – Hoopa Valley Tribe workers whose employment or self-employment was impacted by severe winter storms and mudslides in the Humboldt area between February 14 and March 5, 2023, are now able to apply for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits. The new DUA availability follows an amendment in July to the presidential major disaster declaration (FEMA-4707) that was initially issued on April 25, 2023.
The California 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 the Hoopa Valley Tribe who lost work or self-employment as a direct result of impacts caused by severe storms in the Humboldt area, designated as the disaster area under Declaration FEMA 4707-DR, are now eligible to apply for federal DUA benefits.
The DUA benefits apply to losses beginning the week of February 19, 2023 for claimants impacted by the storms and mudslides. Eligible full-time workers can receive between $171 and $450 a week in benefits for a maximum period of 36 weeks, provided all the requirements for DUA eligibility continue to be met. Part-time workers may also be eligible for benefits. Eligible individuals who were unemployed as of February 19th are eligible to 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 October 28, 2023.
DUA benefits are offered to victims of a federally-declared disaster and are available to individuals who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) 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.
EDD is required to first check to see if the applicant 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.
Claims for this DUA benefit from individuals from Hoopa Valley Tribe must be filed by September 1, 2023, which is 30 days after this announcement, unless the individual has good cause to file a late application. 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 new claimants to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s UI Online application, which is available in both English and Spanish.
Applicants can also get assistance at local job centers or apply in person at Local Assistance Centers or Disaster Recovery Centers.
In addition, claimants can apply for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays:
- English: 1-800-300-5616
- Spanish: 1-800-326-8937
- Armenian: 1-855-528-1518
- Chinese (Cantonese): 1-800-547-3506
- Chinese (Mandarin): 1-866-303-0706
- Korean: 1-844-660-0877
- Tagalog: 1-866-395-1513
- Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058
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 to individuals.
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.