According to State Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson, workers in two additional Georgia counties may now be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to compensate for income lost directly resulting from Hurricane Idalia, which struck the areas on August 30, 2023. The affected counties are Berrien and Brooks.
“We appreciate the federal government providing disaster relief to hardworking Georgians affected by Hurricane Idalia,” said Commissioner Bruce Thompson. “Federal unemployment benefits are a crucial lifeline, delivering financial stability while our communities recover and work to restore normalcy.”
DUA is a federal program established to help workers whose primary income is lost or interrupted as a direct result of a disaster declared by the President. It differs from regular state unemployment insurance in that it provides benefits to people who are self-employed, farmers, diversified farming operators, loggers, commission-paid employees, and others who are not eligible under the state’s program.
Applicants may be eligible for a weekly benefit of as much as $365 beginning the week of September 3, 2023. Individuals in the authorized counties who were directly affected by Hurricane Idalia must first apply for regular unemployment insurance on the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) website at dol.georgia.gov or in person at any GDOL career center. The GDOL will notify claimants if they are also eligible to file for DUA. Eligible claimants must apply for DUA no later than Friday, November 3, 2023.
When applying for DUA benefits, verification of income may be required. Applicants should be prepared to provide proof of earnings for the most recently completed tax year. Acceptable proof of earnings includes copies of most recently completed income tax returns, copies of quarterly estimated income tax payment records, or similar documents.
DUA benefits may also be available to individuals who become the breadwinner, or who provide major financial support, for a household because the head of household died as a direct result of the hurricane. Individuals applying for benefits under such circumstances must present proof of the death of the head of household, such as a death certificate or affidavit.
While applications may be filed in person at any GDOL career center, individuals are encouraged to apply on the GDOL website at dol.georgia.gov. For additional information on DUA and the GDOL career center locations, visit dol.georgia.gov or call the GDOL toll-free customer service line at 1-877-709-8185.