The Oregon Employment Department announced the availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) on Sept. 23, 2020 for individuals who became unemployed, had their work hours substantially reduced or are unemployed self-employed individuals as a direct result of the wildfires and straight-line winds that took place since September 7, 2020. They also must not qualify for regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), other extension programs, or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a federal program that provides temporary unemployment assistance benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted or had their work hours greatly reduced as a direct result of a major disaster. The Oregon Employment Department administers the DUA program for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Individuals eligible for regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for DUA.
DUA is available to eligible individuals for weeks of unemployment beginning September 13, 2020. Benefits for this disaster will be available until March 20, 2021, as long as your unemployment continues to be a direct result of the major disaster. The deadline for filing a DUA claim related to these fires is October 23, 2020.
In addition to people who lost their jobs as a direct result of the major disaster, DUA may include individuals who:
were self-employed and prevented from performing such services as a result of the disaster and the work or self-employment was their primary source of income,
were unable to reach their job because of the disaster,
were scheduled to and prevented from beginning work or self-employment in the disaster area,
were unable to work due to injury as a direct result of the disaster, or
became head of household due a death caused by the disaster,
Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, or extension programs and remain unemployed as a direct result of the disaster.
Unemployment is a direct result of the major disaster if the unemployment resulted from:
the physical damage or destruction of the place of employment;
the physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state, or local government in immediate response to the disaster; or
lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an business in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster area closed by the federal, state, or local government.
To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be turned in when you file or within 21 days from the day your DUA application is filed. You will need to provide supporting documentation, including but not limited to, proof of employment at the time of the disaster, or proof of self-employment at the time of the disaster, and income information for tax year 2019. Specifically, required documentation includes a Social Security number and a copy of the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.
Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the Oregon Employment Department (OED), which will first check if applicants can qualify for state unemployment benefits, PEUC, other extension programs or PUA benefits.
Applications for DUA are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese online at www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Disaster. Your application may be mailed to the address listed below, or submitted online at unemployment.oregon.gov/contact-us. Please include the weeks you would like to claim in your initial application. More information is available on our public website and social media pages. For additional questions or to request an initial application, please call: 503-570-5000