Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Julie M. Whittaker
Specialist in Income Security
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster. First created in 1970 through P.L. 91-606, DUA benefits are authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Relief Act (the Stafford Act), which authorizes the President to issue a major disaster declaration after state and local government resources have been overwhelmed by a natural catastrophe or, “regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion in any part of the United States” (42 U.S.C. 5122(2)).
The DUA program provides income support to individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits. DUA is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through each state’s UC agency. DUA beneficiaries (because they are not entitled to regular UC) are not eligible to receive Extended Benefits (EB) or Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) benefits.
In the 112th Congress, S. 3655 would have extended the maximum weeks of DUA benefits from 26 to 39 weeks for those individuals receiving DUA because of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the bill would reimburse states for regular state UC payments that are based on unemployment attributable to Hurricane Sandy. H.R. 1, the Senate legislative vehicle for Superstorm Sandy supplemental appropriations relief, would not alter the amount or duration of DUA benefits available for those persons impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
There has been no legislative activity concerning DUA benefits in the 113th Congress.
This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for DUA benefits.
Date of Report: January 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 10
Order Number: RS22022
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