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People who lost work due to Dixie and River Fires eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Eligible full-time workers could receive between $147 and $450 a week in benefits for up to 32 weeks.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — People who were out of work due to the Dixie Fire and River Fire in July and August are now eligible for a special kind of unemployment assistance.

On Wednesday, officials approved Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for people impacted by the wildfires in Nevada, Placer, Lassen, and Plumas counties. It's open to workers, business owners, and the self-employed who lost their jobs, businesses or saw reduced work hours due to the fires.

DUA applies to losses that began the week of July 18. Eligible full-time workers could receive between $147 and $450 a week in benefits for up to 32 weeks. Part-time workers could also be eligible. The last payable week of the emergency benefit ends Feb. 26, 2022. 

People will have to file their application by Oct. 1, unless the person has good cause to file late. Required documents, like a federal income tax form or check stubs, have to be submitted within 21 days from the day the application is filed. 

Required documents include the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs or some documentation to support that the person was working when the fire happened.

People are eligible for the benefit if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Worked or were a business owner or self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area. This includes, and is not limited to, those in the agricultural and fishing industries.
  • Cannot reach work because of the disaster or can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
  • The work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Became the head of their household because of a death caused by the disaster.
  • Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits, or do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and remain unemployed as a direct result of the disaster.

For more information, you can visit California Employment Development Department, which is administering the benefits.

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