PASADENA, Calif. -- State and federal officials have approved nearly $23 million in disaster aid for farm workers, others who provide services to the farming community and business owners who suffered $1.4 billion in damages during the January freeze 2007. To date, more than 9,000 Californians have applied for freeze-related unemployment benefits.
The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is Friday, May 25, 2007.
Following is a summary of activities in the disaster-declared counties as of May 22, 2007:
- There were 9,223 freeze-related Unemployment Insurance claims processed by the California Employment Development Department, including 2,886 claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance made available as a result of a federal disaster declaration.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had delivered 137 truckloads of food to California, with 79 more expected to be delivered by the end of the month. Another 144 truckloads of food are due to be delivered in June, with 40 to arrive in July and another 40 in August.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $8.5 million in low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- $4 million in Community Block Grant funds was made available to freeze victims through the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
- La Cooperativa de Campesinos de California distributed more than $3 million in state grant funding for utility, rental and mortgage assistance in Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Ventura and Riverside counties.
- 22,176 visits were reported at the One-Stop Centers in declared counties.
- $4.7 million in state financial assistance was provided to food banks in freeze-affected areas.
- $2.5 million state grant to assist farm workers in Tulare County who were laid off due to the January freeze.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds the DUA program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor at the federal level and the California Employment Development Department at the state level. DUA provides benefits from $144 to a maximum of $450 a week for individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster. Benefits are payable for a maximum of 26 weeks from the date of the federal declaration (March 13, 2007). The Disaster Assistance period ends Sept. 15, 2007.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for individuals who work, were scheduled to work and reside in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura counties. And provides assistance to:
- Those who lost their jobs due to the January 2007 freeze.
- Workers who had been contracted to work but were unable to begin work due to the freeze.
- Those who were not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, including the self-employed.
- Those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.
Applications for DUA must be made through the Employment Development Department. Residents can apply on-line through www.edd.ca.gov/eapply4ui, or print and mail a written application, available through