Some Pennsylvanians Impacted By Hurricane Ida Can Apply For Temporary Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced Pennsylvanians who live or work in one of the six counties impacted by remnants of Hurricane Ida are eligible to apply for temporary Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) beginning today.

“The Wolf Administration has worked quickly with the federal Department of Labor to stand up this temporary disaster unemployment program to help Pennsylvanians in the hardest hit counties as they continue recovering from Ida,” said Secretary Berrier. “I strongly encourage Pennsylvanians whose employment is impacted as a direct result of Ida in one of the six federally-declared counties, to apply for these benefits.”

The DUA assistance is a result of Governor Tom Wolf’s successful request to President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania following heavy rainfall, severe flash flooding, and tornadoes from the remnants of Ida that impacted Pennsylvania on August 31, 2021, through September 5, 2021.

Pennsylvanians eligible to apply for DUA assistance must live, work, or have to travel through impacted areas to reach work in one of the following counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, or York. As assessments continue, other counties may be added – visit www.pema.pa.gov/ida for an up-to-date list of eligible counties.

The temporary DUA benefits are only available for individuals, including those who are self-employed, who are unemployed as a direct result of damages caused by remnants of Hurricane  Ida.

Individuals eligible for DUA benefits are those who work or live in one of the federally declared counties and lost their jobs directly due to the disaster. Those eligible may also include:

  • Individuals unable to reach their job because they must travel through the affected area and are unable to do so because of the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to begin employment but were prevented doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who became the major support for a household because of the death of the head of the household as a result of the disaster.
  • Individuals who cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.

Pennsylvanians whose employment is impacted for the reasons listed above under “DUA Eligibility” should file a claim online at www.uc.pa.gov.

Before an individual will be determined eligible for DUA, L&I must first establish that the individual is otherwise not eligible for regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits under any state or federal law.

The deadline to apply for DUA benefits is October 20, 2021. It’s important to note that DUA claims filed after the deadline may be ineligible for payment under certain circumstances.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is part of the federal disaster assistance process but is administered by L&I. DUA provides temporary benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation.