DEO: Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available to Florida Businesses, Residents Impact by Hurricane Sally

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced on Wednesday that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Sally.

President Donald Trump officially granted a major disaster declaration request. The Department is currently accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties. Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by November 6, 2020.

Individuals can apply for DUA if they are ineligible to receive federal or state Reemployment Assistance benefits and the individual:

  • Is unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster;
  • Was scheduled to start employment but was unable to as a direct result of the major disaster;
  • Is unable to reach their job or self-employment location because the individual has to travel through an affected area and is prevented from doing so as a
  • direct result of the major disaster;
  • Has become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster; or
  • Is unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of the major disaster.

Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely, and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause. Individuals must submit their Social Security number, check stubs, and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.

DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning September 20, 2020, until March 27, 2021, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster. DUA is only available for those individuals who are unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Sally. If a claimant is currently receiving state Reemployment Assistance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, they will not be eligible for DUA.

To file a DUA claim go to or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time) to assist claimants. For DUA claim information, call 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) and choose the speak to an agent option to speak to a customer service representative.


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