Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia

Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia (DUA) is available to residents who have been directly affected by a natural disaster or declared emergency within the state. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is similar to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, as it is not a year-round program but instead only enacted during special times of need. Applicants who are wondering how to apply for disaster unemployment assistance should first consider if Virginia has been declared for disaster unemployment benefits. The President of the United States will need to declare that the disaster or emergency conditions have been met in order for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia to be enacted. Workers who have had their jobs directly affected by a major disaster should understand what to expect from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance application, along with the basic disaster unemployment assistance eligibility requirements. To find out more regarding unemployment benefits for major disasters, continue reading below.

What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia?

Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia is a program that is federally funded which allows financial assistance to be provided to employees whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by major disasters. Petitioners seeking unemployment benefits after a major disaster occurs will need to fill out the Disaster Unemployment Assistance application with the Virginia Employment Commission. Disaster Unemployment Assistance will only be provided to beneficiaries who have either lost a job or have had employment interrupted due to a major disaster occurring. All petitioners seeking unemployment insurance during a major disaster should first understand the eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance to see if they qualify. Once a presidential declaration has been made in Virginia regarding a disaster, the DUA program will provide both employment services and unemployment benefits to those in need.

In order to understand Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia, prospective applicants should be aware of what constitutes a major disaster. A major disaster which results in disaster unemployment benefits includes:

All natural disasters regardless of cause or origination point will be considered major especially if they affect employment in Virginia. To find out more regarding the details of the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, download our helpful state guide today.

What are the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Eligibility qualifications?

There are many specific Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines in Virginia which must be met before a petitioner can receive financial assistance. For instance, first, the state or part of the state must be declared a major disaster by the president of the United States. If there is no declaration for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia made, then only regular unemployment benefits will be enacted. Once the declaration is made, however, applicants will be eligible for DUA benefits as long as they:

  • Are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits
  • Must be unemployment as a result of the major disaster
  • Must be able and viable to work unless injured from the disaster
  • Must file a Disaster Unemployment Assistance application within 30 days of the declaration announcement
  • Must have no refused any offer for employment in a similar position as he or she previously held

Disaster unemployment benefits will not be provided to applicants who do not report to work of their own choosing or those who decide to not report to work for home-related disaster cleanup. If a petitioner files for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia but ends up qualifying for regular unemployment benefits instead, then basic unemployment benefits will be enacted and need to be exhausted before the disaster unemployment insurance comes through. There are additional Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility conditions which must be met that is specific to the conditions of unemployment as well.

How to Apply For Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia

In order to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia, an application must be submitted through the proper channels. Understanding how to apply for disaster unemployment assistance involves knowing how regular unemployment insurance can be filed. The application will be available through the Virginia Employment Commission once an announcement has been made verifying the major disaster. Applications must be filed within 30 days of the announcement being made. There are two ways in which to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Virginia, online or by telephone.

Once the Disaster Unemployment Assistance application is filed and approved with the state, it will be the responsibility of the applicant to continue with weekly filings in order to receive benefits. The benefit amount for disaster unemployment compensation will be calculated the same way in which regular unemployment benefits are determined. There may be special circumstances to consider in many cases, for instance when a family business is affected by the disaster and how many family members will become eligible. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance application should only be submitted by a prospective beneficiary as long as there has been at least a week of unemployment following the date of the major disaster declaration. Find out more by downloading our free guide.


Virginia Employment Commission