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Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits available

AUGUSTA, ME – On March 20, 2024, President Biden approved Governor Mills’ request for a major disaster declaration for Maine as it recovers from the storms on January 9 and 13, 2024. This declaration allows the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation to provide temporary financial assistance to people whose employment or self-employment was impacted by the January 9 and 13 storms in the following counties:









Funding will be available for eligible applicants who apply within 30 days of the declaration of a major disaster, until April 22, 2024, to assist eligible workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs, job offers, or businesses, or had their work hours reduced or interrupted due to impacts brought about by the January 9 and/or 13 storms.

The Maine Department of Labor will accept applications for 30 days, starting at 8 a.m. on March 25, 2024. Individuals may be eligible if they do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and they live in, work in, were scheduled to work in, or were scheduled to travel through an area affected by the January 9 and/or 13 storms and lost their employment or self-employment directly due to the disaster. 

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) applies to losses for eligible people impacted by the January 9 and/or 13 storms with the first payable week of Disaster Unemployment Assistance for the week starting on January 14, 2024, and ending on September 21, 2024. Unemployment benefits start the first full week after the disaster. Claims can be filed for the weeks beginning January 14, 2024.

Full-time workers, part-time workers, and self-employed part-time individuals can be eligible for benefits. The last payable week of this emergency benefit ends September 21, 2024 as long as their unemployment or self-employment continues as a result of the disaster. Eligibility for DUA benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis for each week they file their claim.

Who might be eligible:

An individual might be eligible for DUA benefits if they are a business owner, a self-employed person, a regular worker, or a seasonal or migrant worker who lost their job, job offer, or had their work hours reduced due to the January 9 and/or 13 storms.

To be eligible for DUA, a person can’t be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in any state. When they apply, they must be able to work, ready and willing to accept work, and have the time and means to work, unless they suffered injuries directly linked to the disaster. Additionally, they must meet at least one of the following criteria: 

They can’t work or they are working reduced hours because the disaster damaged or destroyed their workplace

They can’t return, resume, or start their employment or self-employment because of the disaster

They can’t work due to injuries caused as a direct result of the disaster

They can’t get to their job due to the impact of the disaster in one of the affected areas. This also applies if they reside in a major disaster area but are unable to reach their place of employment or self-employment outside the disaster area

They became the primary support of their family because of the death of the head of the household as a result of the disaster

How to apply:

Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, March 25, individuals can apply for DUA benefits at or by phone at 1-800-593-7660. To be considered, they need to submit their application by April 22, 2024.

They will first have to complete the regular state unemployment form to determine eligibility for UI benefits or DUA benefits.

What information is needed:

To complete the application, an individual will need to provide their Social Security Number (SSN), and the name, address, and dates of employment of all their employers for the past two years, including out-of-state employers.

They will need to provide all supporting evidence no more than 21 days after the application has been filed. The documents they need to provide might vary depending on their circumstances and previous employers but could include proof of identity, their most recent federal income tax form, and other documents proving that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. If they need to submit proof of income for the past year, they can submit those documents after the 21 days deadline but no later than the end of the disaster assistance period. However, delays in submitting their documents can impact their benefits and overall processing times.

Visit for more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance and how to apply. Individuals can also contact the Department at 1-800-593-7660.

To learn about all federal assistance programs, contact FEMA’s helpline at 1-800-621-3362.

Reemployment services are available at

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