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Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

On July 14, 2023, President Biden approved Vermont’s Major Disaster Declaration request. This Declaration authorized Vermont to receive “individual assistance,” which includes Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) 

About DUA: 

DUA is a federal program designed to help people who lost their jobs because of a natural disaster. This program gives temporary money to those who don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

  • Before you can apply for DUA, you must apply for regular unemployment benefits first. If you do not qualify, the Department of Labor will provide you with the application for DUA. 
  •  File an initial unemployment insurance (UI) claim (Mon-Fri) by calling 1-877-214-3330. 
  • Claimants in eligible counties have until September 29, 2023, to apply for DUA benefits. 

Eligible Vermont Counties:

Announced starting July 20, 2023, with applications due by September 29, 2023:

  • Chittenden 
  • Lamoille
  • Rutland
  • Washington 
  • Windham
  • Windsor  
  • Caledonia 
  • Orange
  • Orleans

Important Dates:
First benefit week: July 9-15, 2023
Last benefit week: January 7-13, 2024

Action Steps:

If you believe you may qualify for regular UI or DUA, please take the following actions: 

Step 1: File an initial unemployment insurance (UI) claim online (Mon-Fri) or by calling 1-877-214-3330 (Mon-Fri). Based on your circumstances, we will determine if you are eligible for regular UI or DUA.  

Step 2: If you are determined eligible for regular UI, you will need to log in to the regular UI Online Claimant Portal at Vermont Department of Labor Claimant Portal each week you are unemployed and submit a claim.  (Reminder: Claimants always file for the prior week of unemployment)

Step 3: If you are determined eligible for DUA, you will receive instructions on how to file for a weekly claim for each week you are unemployed due to the disaster. 

Prefer a visual option? Click below to see the DUA process.
DUA Process Flowchart

Able and Available:

Claimants will be asked on the initial claim form if they are able and available for work. If the claimant is unable to work due to the July-23 Flood, they should select "yes," that but for the flood, they are able and available to work.

Work Search:

There is no work search requirement for employees who are temporarily laid off for 10 weeks or less. Individuals filing for benefits will need to provide an estimated return-to-work date in order to have the work search requirement waived.  


  1. You were unemployed for a week after the disaster started.
  2. You can't get to your job.
  3. Your job doesn't exist anymore because of the disaster, or you can't get to it.
  4. You are now the main supporter of your family because the head of the household died in the disaster.
  5. You can't work because you got hurt in the disaster.
  6. You couldn't start working because of the disaster.

Required Documentation:

  • Social Security Number
  • Name and address of your last employer
  • If you worked in another state during the past two years, have the name and address of the out-of-state employer
  • If you are self-employed, have proof of self-employment for the past two years
    • (For example, 1099 statements, state or federal tax returns, bank records of accounts, statement from a bank showing your business account, or a copy of title or deed to a business property.)
  • If you were scheduled to work but could not work due to the disaster, have the name and address of the employer and date you were scheduled to work

Proof of Employment: 

(For self-employed, independent contractors, and other individuals who are not covered under the regular UI program)

  • State or federal tax returns
  • Financial statements or check stubs
  • Bank records or accounts or 1099 forms
  • Sales Tax Return
  • Current business license or occupational license
  • State or Federal Employer Identification Number
  • Property titles, deeds, or rental agreement for your place of business
  • Recent newspaper, phone book, or internet ad for your business
  • Statement(s) from recent customers, billing notices, invoices, business or sales records

Appeals Information:

  1. If you disagree with a decision made about your benefits, you can appeal it. You have 60 days to make an appeal after the decision is made or reviewed.
  2. The appeal for DUA will be looked at and decided within 30 days of getting it.
  3. If you don't agree with the  decision, you have 15 days to appeal again, this time to the Regional Administrator.
  4. The Regional Administrator will then give a decision within either:
    a) 45 days after they get the appeal, or
    b) 90 days after the State agency got your first appeal about their decision.

Employer Information:

Employers do not need to contact the Department of Labor when laying off employees. Employees can contact the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Claims Center at 877-214-3330 (Mon-Fri) or online (Mon-Fri).


Language Assistance Available:

Other Resources:

DUA FAQ   Flood Resources  DUA Farm worker FAQ

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