Residents in declared disaster counties could be eligible for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

New Jersey residents affected by Hurricane Ida may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development said Monday.

The assistance is limited to those living in a county that has been declared a major disaster area: Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union and Warren.

Individuals who lost their jobs directly due to the disaster and work or live in one of the above counties may be eligible for these DUA benefits under the following criteria:

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

In addition, individuals may be eligible if their unemployment resulted from:

  • The physical damage or destruction of the place of employment;
  • The physical inaccessibility of the place of employment due to its closure by the federal, state or local government in immediate response to the disaster;
  • Lack of work, or loss of revenues, if, prior to the disaster, the employer or self-employed business received at least a majority of its revenue or income from an entity in the major disaster area that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster or an entity in the major disaster are closed by the federal, state or local government.

Before an individual can be determined eligible for DUA, it must be established that the individual is otherwise ineligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits under any state or federal law. Therefore, claimants must first apply for state unemployment benefits by visiting

When applying for DUA, claimants should cite “Impacted by Hurricane Ida,” as the reason for separation. If deemed ineligible for regular benefits, NJDOL will reach out to the claimants with further DUA information.

Claims for DUA must be filed by Oct. 20.

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