Jul 29, 2013 6:03 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Disaster unemployment available to Black Forest Fire victims

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced today that individuals who have become unemployed because of the Black Forest Wildfire may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

A Major Disaster Declaration was issued for the Black Forest Wildfire by the President on July 26. With this declaration, individuals may now be eligible for unemployment assistance if their unemployment resulted from the physical damage or destruction of their place of employment or because of the physical inaccessibility of the worksite due to its closure by the federal, state or local government in immediate response to a wildfire.

To file a claim, CLICK HERE.

In addition, the Department of Labor and Employment is announcing that individuals who are currently receiving unemployment benefits while living in the burn area will receive a waiver from their requirement to seek work beginning the week the fire began in their area. The start date for the Black Forest Wildfire was June 11, 2013.

These individuals must continue requesting payment of unemployment benefits as they always have. As long as the fire is the only circumstance that is preventing them from looking for work, they should report that they are able to work, available and looking for work.

Some claimants impacted by the fire may currently be receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation, federal benefits that go beyond the regular 26 weeks. Individuals receiving EUC benefits must complete a series of reemployment services within six weeks. However, for the immediate future, the Department of Labor and Employment is extending the amount of time in which those claimants must complete the services.


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