PASADENA, Ca -- The U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) announced today that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available to workers in Kings, Madera, Merced, and Stanislaus Counties who have lost their jobs because of the damaging freeze conditions in January.
In addition, the federal food commodities program has been extended to include Kings, Madera, and Merced Counties. Both actions come as a result of additions to the March 13th presidential disaster declaration for California counties affected by the January freeze.
The filing deadline for workers in Kings, Merced, Madera and Stanislaus counties is May 25, 2007, as well as for workers in the 12 original counties which include Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties.
Workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may be eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance, which provides up to $450 a week for up to 26 weeks. Applicants must have a legal right or permission to work in California.
Workers file for DUA benefits through the California Employment Development Department. The DUA program is funded by FEMA and administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asked for federal help recovering from the freeze. On March 13, 2007, President Bush declared a major disaster enabling DUA and food commodities for 12 counties in central and southern California. They are Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura. To date, EDD has received more than 2,282 DUA claims due to the freeze in January.
The fastest way to apply is online at www.edd.ca.gov. Otherwise, visit EDD’s One-Stop Assistance Centers, which are located in each county. EDD also has toll-free telephone numbers for help:
1-800-300-5616 in English, 1-800-326-8937 in Spanish, or TTY at 1-800-815-9387.
Federal funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.