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Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) application deadline for Presidential-declared disaster, FEMA-1981-DR, was Thursday, September 22, 2011.

Other disaster assistance may be available. Visit nddisasterinfo.com for more information.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefit rights

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to unemployed workers or unemployed self-employed individuals who were employed or were to begin employment in a major disaster area when the disaster occurred. In order to qualify for DUA, your job loss or interruption must have been caused as a direct result of a major disaster and you are NOT eligible for regular unemployment insurance.

Proof of employment is required

You are required to provide documentation to substantiate employment or self-employment or to substantiate work that was to begin on or after the date of the disaster. If proof of employment cannot be provided at the time the claim is filed, you have 21 calendar days from the date the claim is filed to meet this requirement. Failure to submit the required documentation within the 21 day period will result in being determined ineligible for DUA benefits, and you will be required to repay any benefits already issued to you.

Acceptable proof of employment

Workers - recent pay stubs, a statement from your last employer affirming you were working at the time of the disaster, or a copy of a Letter of Hire.

Self-employed individuals - federal or state income tax returns for the previous calendar year, business financial statements/records, affidavits from individuals having knowledge of the business, or other evidence (trip tickets, crop elevator receipts/credits), to verify you are self- employed. Self-employed individuals should include a copy of Schedule C, F, SE or K with your Form 1040 to determine your monetary eligibility.

General eligibility requirements

To be eligible for DUA you must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your unemployment must have been caused as a direct result of the disaster.
  • You must live in, work in, or travel through the disaster area.
  • DUA claim form(s) must be filed within 30 days of the State announcement of the availability of assistance.
  • You are able and available for work, unless injured as a direct result of the disaster.

Conditions of unemployment

  • One of the following conditions of unemployment must have occurred as a direct result of the disaster to qualify for DUA:
  • No longer have a job and have a week of unemployment following the date the major disaster began.
  • Are unable to reach the place of employment or where services in self-employment are performed.
  • Were to have started work and do not have a job or unable to reach the job.
  • Became the breadwinner or major support because the head of household died.
  • Cannot work because of injury caused as a direct result of the major disaster.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, you cannot be paid DUA benefits based on services unless you were legally permitted to work in the United States at the time such services were performed. In addition, you must be authorized to work for any week of DUA benefits claimed to be eligible for DUA payments.

Filing Requirements

Your initial application for DUA must be filed either by telephone at 701-328-1152 or by filling out the following forms or mailing or faxing them to:

Job Service North Dakota
Benefits Unit
PO Box 5507
Bismarck ND  58506-5507
Fax 701-328-2728
TTY 1-800-366-6888

Please note:  For Windows 7 users, when you click on the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) document links below you may receive security warning messages asking if you trust the document and if yes that you need to add "eforms.nd.gov" to Privileged Locations in your browser.  You should see an options tab above the document once it is opened.  Alternatively, you can "trust" the document one time in your browser software to ensure the DUA application forms work properly.

Initial DUA Application (PDF: 2 pages / 143 KB)
To be completed by everyone applying for DUA benefits & not eligible for regular or extended unemployment insurance benefits.

Supplement to Application for DUA Self-Employed Individuals (PDF: 2 pages / 98 KB)
To be completed by those who are self-employed, business owners or farmers.

Statement of Employment and Wages (PDF: 1 page / 34 KB)
If you are attaching your proof of employment and wages, you do not need to fill this out. Only complete this form if you are unable to provide proof with your application at this time. Proof of employment and wages MUST be provided within 21 days of filing your claim.

Certification and reporting requirements

In order to receive DUA benefit payments you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be returning to your employer or completing your weekly number of work search contacts as assigned by Job Service North Dakota for each week you certify for benefits, unless you are prevented from doing so as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Be able and available for work, unless you have been injured or have an illness directly caused by the disaster that prevents you from working, or if you are unable to reach your place of employment due to the disaster.

Complete weekly certifications to receive benefits

Once you receive your Notice of Determination of Entitlement Disaster Relief Act, you must complete weekly certifications in order to receive benefits. You can complete these weekly certifications by phone at 701-328-4995 or online with the Unemployment Insurance Internet Claims Entry System (UI ICE).

For unemployment insurance purposes a week begins on Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. You have a maximum 13 days after the Saturday of the week you wish to receive benefits to complete your certification. Failure to certify within the 13 day period may result in your being ineligible for benefits for the week. Please refer to the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Guide for additional instructions regarding certifying a week for benefit payment.

You must report gross wages earned for any employment. If you worked for someone and were paid, or if you are entitled to payment for the work, you must report the wages in the week earned. If you are self- employed and received income for services performed, you must report your gross income in the week in which you receive the pay even though you may have performed the service before the disaster began.

In addition to wages and self employment income, you must also report any income received from the following:

  • Benefits or insurance for loss of wages.
  • Supplemental unemployment benefits paid pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Private income protection insurance, Workforce Safety and Insurance compensation or survivor's benefits if you become the major support of the family as a result of the death of the head of the household because of the disaster.
  • Retirement, pension or annuity.

Any wages, self-employment income, or other earnings listed above are to be reported on the weekly certification for the week the wages or self-employment income were earned. For the other types of income listed above, report the gross earnings the week they were received. After the question, "During the week you are certifying, did you work?", answer "Yes" and enter the gross amount of the earnings.

You may continue to complete weekly certifications until you are no longer unemployed. You are no longer eligible for DUA benefits if you return to work or your reason for being unemployed is no longer a direct result of the major disaster.

If you receive DUA benefits and later it is determined that you were ineligible for these benefits, you will be required to repay any DUA benefits to which you were not entitled.

Weekly benefit amount

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) will be based on your gross wages. If you are self-employed, your WBA will be based on your net earnings (income) from self-employment. The WBA will be calculated using the same formula used for state unemployment insurance benefits. However, if you qualify for less than 50 percent of the state average unemployment insurance WBA, the WBA will be increased to 50 percent of the state's average WBA, with exceptions for part-time workers.

Duration of benefits

A DUA claimant's continued eligibility for benefits during the disaster assistance period prescribed by law is determined on a week-to-week basis. For each week claimed, the claimant's unemployment must continue to be a direct result of the major disaster. DUA benefits will be paid for up to 38 weeks following the first week the disaster was declared by the President, as long as your unemployment continues to be a result of the major disaster.

Reduction of weekly DUA benefits

DUA benefits may be denied or reduced if you begin to receive or are receiving one or more of the following:

  • Benefits or insurance for loss of wages.
  • Supplemental unemployment benefits paid pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Private income protection insurance.
  • Worker's compensation or survivor's benefits if you become the major support of the family as a result of the death of the head of the household because of the disaster.
  • Retirement, pension or annuity.
  • Earnings from employment or self-employment.

Federal withholding

DUA benefits are subject to federal withholding. You may elect to have federal withholding deducted from your disaster unemployment assistance. You will receive Form 1099-G to file with your income tax return.

Disqualification or termination of benefits

Disqualification or termination of DUA will be determined if any of the following apply:

  • You become employed and the earnings exceed the weekly benefit amount allowed under state law.
  • You refused without good cause to accept suitable work or a referral to suitable work without good cause.
  • You are not able or available for work under the applicable State law, unless injured as a direct result of the disaster.
  • You are not available for work, unless the unavailability is due to a self-employed individual's preparation to resume self-employment.
  • You are no longer unemployed as a direct result of the disaster. You fail to make a search for work as directed or required by Job Service North Dakota.

Appeals

Any denial of DUA benefits may be appealed, by mail or fax, within 60 days after the Notice of Determination is mailed. Be sure to always include your Social Security Number on any and all correspondence you may send to Job Service North Dakota. If you file an appeal, you should continue to file your weekly claim certifications until the issue is resolved or you obtain or resume employment.

Your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to give accurate answers to any questions asked in regards to your initial claim and weekly certifications for DUA benefits. Failure to furnish requested documents or information might result in benefits being delayed or denied.

All information is subject to verification. DUA benefits are provided through federal funds. Criminal and/or civil penalties for violation of federal and/or state laws will be enforced for willfully making false statement or concealing information to obtain or increase your Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits.