TPI Staffing Blog

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

August 30th, 2017


TWC Website

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs or self-employment or who are no longer working as a direct result of a major disaster for which a disaster assistance period is declared, and who applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. See the Eligibility section for details.

Worker Protections During or After Natural Disasters

Employers may not discharge or discriminate against employees who evacuate under emergency evacuation orders. Employers who violate this provision are liable for any loss of wages or employer-provided benefits and must reinstate the employee to the same or equivalent position.

Emergency personnel and those who provide for the safety and well-being of the public are not covered by this law but their employer must provide them with adequate emergency shelter.

For more information, refer to Emergency Evacuation Discrimination.

DUA is Taxable Income

DUA payments must be reported as income to the Internal


If you are eligible for regular benefits, we must pay those benefits before taking a DUA application.

You may be eligible for DUA if one of the following occurred as a direct result of the disaster:

You lost your job, which was more than 50% of your total income.
You live in, work in, or travel through the disaster area.
Your place of employment was damaged or closed.
You were scheduled to start work but the job no longer exists or you can no longer reach the new job.
You suffered injury or incapacitation.
You became the breadwinner or major support of the household due to the death of the head of household.
DUA is available only during the Disaster Assistance Period, which begins with the first Sunday following the date that the major disaster is declared. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and DUA regulations determine when the Disaster Assistance Period begins and ends.

Temporary and seasonal workers are only eligible for DUA for the weeks that they would have been employed if the disaster had not occurred. For example, if a seasonal worker was scheduled to work for four weeks after the disaster and then under normal circumstances would be terminated, that worker would be eligible only for four weeks of DUA.