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Self-Employed Are Eligible for Unemployment Aid

A federal program operated by Fla. offers unemployment assistance to self-employed workers who will lose income due to damage inflicted by Hurricane Ian.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian.

Floridians who live in designated-disaster areas – 17 Florida counties – must file DUA applications by Dec. 30, 2022. Applications after that date will be “considered untimely” and benefits will be denied unless that applicant “provides good cause.”

Eligible Florida counties

  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Flagler
  • Hardee
  • Hillsborough
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota
  • Seminole
  • St. Johns
  • Volusia

DUA may cover unemployment from Sept. 25, 2022, until April 1, 2023, providing that unemployment continues to be a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Anyone currently receiving state Reemployment Assistance is not be eligible for DUA.

If you need assistance with applying for DUA, call 1-800-385-3920. DUA Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. EST.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a federally funded benefit program that assists individuals who become unemployed because of a disaster.

Who qualifies for DUA? Individuals who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment
  • Cannot work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster
  • Can establish that the work they can no longer perform was their principal source of income
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state
  • Cannot perform work due to an injury that was a direct result of Hurricane Ian
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the former breadwinner’s death occurred as a result of Hurricane Ian

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