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Submitted by Federal Emergency Management Agency
7:19 am PST January 30, 2019

Workers and self-employed wildfire survivors who lost their jobs or businesses or had their work hours substantially reduced because of the fires, may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. 

In addition, small businesses that, because of the fires, are struggling to maintain a reasonable working capital position during the recovery period, may be eligible for a low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

DUA is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and administered by the California Employment Development Department. DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to survivors whose job or work-hour losses, or losses of business, are a direct result of the wildfire disaster and who do not qualify for regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

To be eligible for DUA, an applicant must have: worked in, or was scheduled to begin work in, Butte, Los Angeles or Ventura county, but was prevented from doing so by the wildfire disaster; been self-employed in or scheduled to begin self-employment in, Butte, Los Angeles or Ventura county, but was prevented from doing so because of the wildfires; been unable to work because he/she was injured as a direct result of the wildfires; become the major support of the household, because the head of the household died as a direct result of the wildfires; or lost most of his/her income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged or destroyed by the wildfires.

Qualified applicants may receive assistance of up to $450 per week for a maximum of 27 weeks. DUA applies to losses beginning the week of Nov. 11, 2018. For more information, or to apply, visit www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Online_Registration.htm or call (800) 300-5616 between 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday through Friday. The deadline to apply for this benefit is March 15.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Under SBA’s EIDL program, working capital loans are available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes to meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans of up to $2 million are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period if the small business, small agricultural cooperative or private nonprofit organization: suffered wildfire-related cash flow problems (regardless of physical damage to property); needs funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact; and is unable to obtain credit from banks and normal lending channels.

For more information about SBA’s EIDL program, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercust
omerservice@sba.gov, or visiting www.sba.gov/disaster. 

Anyone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. The deadline to apply for the EIDL program is Aug. 12.