Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides services to individuals and businesses affected by disasters in California.
If you are unemployed due to a disaster or emergency, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits. When authorized by the President, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may also be available for workers and self-employed who do not qualify for regular UI benefits. For current state-declared disasters, visit Disaster-Related Services.
To see how the EDD is available to help victims in applying for DUA benefits and other services at local assistance centers, watch this The Employment Development Department Assists Wildfire Victims video.
File a Claim
UI OnlineSM is the fastest and most convenient way to file your UI claim. You can file your claim though UI Online during the times (Pacific Time) listed below:
Days of the Week
Tuesday - Friday
5 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
4 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
2 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
2 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Representatives are available at the following toll-free numbers, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific Time) except on state holidays.
Fax or Mail
When accessing UI Online to file a new claim, some customers will be instructed to fax or mail their UI application to the EDD. If this occurs, the Unemployment Insurance Application, DE 1101I will display. For faster and more secure processing, fax the completed form to the number listed on the form. If you decide to mail your UI application, use the address on the form and allow additional time for processing.
Individuals with current claims for benefits, who are unable to receive their Unemployment Insurance payments at their home due to the disaster or emergency, should contact their local post office.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I lost my job and cannot work because of the disaster or emergency?
There are two programs you may be eligible for:
- Unemployment Insurance
If you are unemployed due to a disaster or emergency, you may be eligible for UI benefits.
When you file your UI claim, you must tell us that you are unemployed as a result of a disaster or emergency. Find information about Filing a UI Claim or call EDD at one of the numbers listed above in the File a Claim section.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance
If the President of the United States declares a disaster in your area, payment of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may be authorized. Individuals who become unemployed as a result of the disaster, and who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, may file for DUA. Refer to the EDD Fact Sheet Disaster Employment Assistance: English | Spanish
What if I become ill or injured and cannot work because of a disaster or emergency?
If you become ill or injured and cannot work, you may be eligible for Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. Most California workers are covered under the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program which is funded through employee payroll deductions.
As of January 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 908 (Chapter 5, Statutes of 2016) increased the wage replacement rate to approximately 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of your wages. Benefits are payable for a maximum of 52 weeks. Refer to Disability Insurance Claim Process for additional information, or call 1-800-480-3287.
Individuals with current claims for benefits, who are unable to receive their Disability Insurance payments at their home due to the disaster or emergency, should contact their local post office.
I need help in finding a job.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a comprehensive range of employment services in partnership with other organizations. Refer to Jobs. For additional information on job search assistance, online job listings, workshops, information on wages and trends, and other employment and training services within your community, contact your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM (formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers). Another job search tool is California’s online resource, CalJOBSSM.
How do I find out more?
In a disaster or emergency, EDD offices within America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM that are considered accessible and do not pose a health or safety threat to staff and the public will remain open. It is recommended that anyone seeking assistance from their local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM, call the facility first to confirm hours of operation.
In some disaster areas, local assistance centers will be setup to combine the resources of local, state, federal, and voluntary agencies. For more disaster assistance information and available resources, please visit the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), Individual Assistance website or contact at 916-845-8149.
Victims and Family Assistance, Other Resources . . .
- United States Postal Service (USPS) – If you have not received your mail, contact your local USPS office to obtain your mail or contact ASK USPS at 1-800-275-8777.
- Governor's Office of Emergency Services – Includes information about disaster relief and other available resources.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Information on applying for disaster assistance such as temporary housing assistance, disaster loans, and other needs. The site also includes news, assistance, and resources about recent disasters and emergencies. For more information, contact 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
- State Insurance Commissioner – Insurance information to protect your home and property. Contact 1-800-927-HELP (4357).
- Red Cross – News and information about available shelter, supplies, etc. If you need immediate relief or assistance, contact 1-800-733-2767.