When a business closes due to a nature disaster, is unemployment available to the employees?
Yes, it's likely that an employee in such a situation would be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). If an employee is laid-off as a result of the disaster, they may also be eligible for traditional state unemployment insurance. To be eligible specifically for DUA programs, an individual often must meet all the following eligibility requirements:
• Not be eligible for regular UI.
• Be unemployed as a direct result of the disaster.
• Be able and available for work, unless injured as a direct result of the disaster (see conditions below).
• File an application for DUA within 30 days of the date of the announcement of availability of DUA.
• Have not refused an offer of employment in a suitable position.
One of the following conditions of unemployment or inability to perform services in self-employment must have occurred as a direct result of the disaster:
• The individual has had a week of unemployment following the date the major disaster began.
• The individual is unable to reach their place of employment.
• The individual was scheduled to start work, but the job no longer exists, or the individual was unable to reach the job.
• The individual became the major supporter of the household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster.
• The individual cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the major disaster.
• The individual lost a majority of income or revenue because the employer or self-employed business was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the federal government.
Suffering a monetary loss due to damage of property or crops does not automatically entitle an individual to DUA. Applicants must follow the instructions in the announcement and file for DUA based on the filing method used by the state (e.g., in-person, mail, telephone, or internet).
Other Frequently Asked HR Questions During an Emergency:
- What is the standard for paying an employee after a natural disaster?
- Our business is temporarily closed due to inclement weather. We do have some employees that offered to work from home until the business can re-open. Can we offer this?
- What job protected leaves might apply to a natural disaster?
- Our company wants to set up a way for their coworkers to donate vacation time to an employee who was greatly affected by this natural disaster. Is this permissible?