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Disaster Unemployment Assistance

flooded road after hurricane

Some New Jersey residents affected by Hurricane Ida may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) after President Biden declared a major disaster in Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren Counties on September 5, 2021.

Individuals who lost their jobs directly due to the disaster and work, commute through, or live in one of the above counties may be eligible for these DUA benefits:

  • Individuals unable to reach their job because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented by doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to commence employment but were prevented from doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who became the major support for a household because the death of the head of the household was caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who cannot work because of an injury caused 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.
  • 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 entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster are closed by the federal, state, or local government.

Before an individual can be determined eligible for DUA, it must be established that the individual is otherwise ineligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits under any state or federal law.

Therefore, claimants must first apply for state unemployment benefits. If deemed ineligible for regular benefits, NJDOL will email you an application for DUA. You will be required to submit necessary documentation along with the DUA application.

Claims for DUA must be filed by 10/20/2021.

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about DUA.

The DUA program is a part of the federal disaster assistance process, but is administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL).