Wildfire Survivors May be Eligible for Disaster Unemployment Benefits

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
September 1, 2023

HONOLULU – While the Maui wildfires destroyed homes, they also destroyed jobs. Residents may be unaware they can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from the state of Hawaii.

Workers, business owners and self-employed residents of Maui who became unemployed or had their work hours reduced or interrupted because of the August wildfires may be eligible for disaster unemployment benefits. Those benefits cover Aug. 13 to Feb. 10, 2024, if the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. Regular unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment benefits cannot be paid at the same time.

Application deadline: Individuals who believe they qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance should apply as soon as possible. The deadline to apply is Monday, Sept. 25.

To apply: Individuals may file a Disaster Unemployment Assistance claim at https://uiclaims.hawaii.gov. Those who are not able to file an online claim may call to apply toll-free or for more information at any of these numbers: 833-901-2272; 833-901-2275; 808-762-5751 or 808-762-5752.

Eligibility: Individuals may be eligible to apply if their unemployment is a direct result of the wildfire disaster. For instance, if:

  • you had physical damage or destruction to your place of employment;
  • you couldn’t get to your place of employment because roads were closed as part of the response to
    the disaster.

Also, eligible individuals may be those who:

  • are prevented from reaching their job or self-employment location because of the disaster;
  • cannot perform services in employment or self-employment due to an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
  • became the major household support because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster;
  • were scheduled to start or resume employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster. 

For example, those in the agricultural and fishing industries. For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit mauicounty.gov and fema.gov/disaster/4724. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and facebook.com/fema.

Last updated