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Disaster Unemployment Assistance

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This article can tell you about your rights to unemployment assistance in relation to a natural disaster. This article was written by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. 

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides financial help to those who become unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster including self-employed and small business owners, farmers and ranchers and others not eligible for unemployment insurance. DUA is available for up to 26 weeks. The payments must be reported as income to the IRS.

Eligibility

You may be eligible if

  • You were self-employed or starting up a business at the time of the disaster
  • You live in, work in, or travel through the federally declared disaster area.
  • You suffered injury or incapacitation as a direct result of the disaster
  • You became the breadwinner or major support of the household due to the death of the head of household

AND you have applied for regular unemployment and were denied.

 

How to Apply

You only have 30 days to apply, from the date the disaster was declared.

 For example, for Hurricane Harvey, the last day to apply is SEPTEMBER 27, 2017.

Apply online  at http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services#applyForBenefits or call 800-939-6631 and speak to a customer service representative. If you do not plan to reopen your business,  you must complete a work   search registration at WorkinTexas.com or your local Workforce Solutions office within three days of applying for DUA and seek work.

After you apply

After you apply for DUA, you must:

  • Send TWC proof of your employment affected by the disaster within 21 days of applying for DUA.
  • Request payment of DUA using the Payment Request form TWC mailed you.
  • Make sure TWC has your current mailing address. If you cannot receive mail at your home address, either set up a general delivery address with the U.S. Postal Service or arrange to receive mail at a relative’s or friend’s home. If using someone else’s address, include an “in care of” line with their name in the address.

If you do  not  plan  to  reopen  your  business,  you  must  complete  a  work  search  registration  at WorkinTexas.com or your local Workforce Solutions office within three days of applying for DUA and seek work.

Proof of Self-Employment – due within 21 days of the date you applied for DUA

Submit your Federal 1040 income tax return for the most recent tax year, including Schedule C, F, or SE; a business record, (property titles, deeds, or commercial lease; recent business bank, phone, utility statement or insurance bill; recent sales tax return.) If you were planning to open a business, include other evidence such as advertising, state tax registration, or an Assumed Name Certificate. Send these documents your DUA Proof of Employment Cover Sheet by mail or fax to: Texas Workforce Commission; Attn: DUA Proof; P.O. Box 149137 Austin, TX 78714-9137; Fax: 512-936-3250.

Receiving Benefits

Request payment of DUA using the Payment Request form TWC mailed you. Report any gross income for the week you received the income, even if you did the work in a prior week. After you apply for DUA, they will send a two-week payment request form each time you submit a payment request. Complete and fax or mail the form to TWC before the due date.

Appeals Process & Deadlines

You must mail or fax your written appeal no later than 60 days from the date TWC mailed the decision to you.