EDD Disaster-Related Services

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The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of services to individuals and businesses affected by disasters in California. EDD staff located throughout the state are often called upon to lend a hand at Local Assistance Centers or Disaster Recovery Centers established by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) or federal authorities.

The EDD currently has staff available in established centers in the recent wildfire areas who provide:

  • Assistance with filing claims for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
  • Job search assistance.
  • General support, referrals, and resources.

Employer support services may also be available along with Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits for eligible workers.

Current State-Declared Disasters

Services available based on county.
Disaster Location Waiting Week for Unemployment Benefits Waived Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available Extensions for Employers to File and Pay Payroll Taxes
Kern and San Bernardino Counties – Earthquakes For claims filed between 6/30/19 and 1/11/20 None at this time Up to 60-day extension

Waiting Week for Unemployment Benefits Waived

Governor’s Emergency Proclamations usually waive the non-payable one-week waiting period for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments to eligible individuals affected by current disasters. This means individuals can be paid benefits for the first week they are unemployed due to the disaster.

The UI program provides partial wage replacement benefits to workers who lose their jobs, or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Learn more about the Unemployment Insurance program and eligibility requirements for collecting benefits.

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

A Presidential Disaster Declaration can make federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) available for individuals effected by a disaster. DUA is a federal program that provides temporary unemployment assistance to individuals whose work or self-employment is interrupted due to a major natural disaster and who do not qualify for regular state-provided UI benefits, such as farmworkers, business owners and the self-employed.

If and when DUA benefits become available to disaster victims in California, the EDD will update this page and issue a news release with pertinent details and information.

Eligibility for DUA benefits generally applies to those individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster and meet at least one of these conditions:

  • Have applied for and received all regular unemployment benefits from California or any other state, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
  • Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area. Self-employed individuals in particular most often benefit from having DUA available.
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment due to the disaster, or cannot reach work because of the disaster.
  • Have not worked long enough or have not earned enough in wages to qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused by the disaster and don’t qualify for State Disability Insurance.
  • Became the head of their household because of a death caused by the disaster.

Extensions for Employers to File and Pay Payroll Taxes

Employers directly affected by a disaster may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.

For more information about how to request an extension and other employer assistance available, visit Emergency and Disaster Assistance for Employers.

You can also learn about assistance available through the Internal Revenue Service’s Help During Disasters web page.

Other Disaster-Related EDD Services

Job Search Assistance

In disaster situations, our EDD Workforce Services representatives will often be available along with our UI and Tax representatives in Local Assistance Centers that may be established by the State OES. They can provide a wide range of job search assistance and employer support services, as well as other general support, referrals, and resources.

For California’s online job exchange system, visit CalJOBSSM.

Disability Insurance Benefits

Disability Insurance (DI) provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. If you were injured by the disaster, you may be eligible for DI benefits.

To apply for DI benefits, submit a Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) using SDI Online or by mail. If you need a paper version of the DE 2501, you can order the form through the Online Forms and Publications page or contact DI by phone.

Paid Family Leave Benefits

Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides benefits to individuals who lose wages when they need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner. If you need to care for a family member injured in the disaster, you may be eligible for PFL benefits.

To apply for PFL benefits, submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits (DE 2501F) using SDI Online or by mail. If you need a paper version of the DE 2501F, you can order the form through the Online Forms and Publications page or contact PFL by phone.