Unemployment Assistance For Farmers, Rancher and Other Self-Employed Workers

Due to the recent disasters in Nebraska, an infrequently used federal program has been made available to provide financial assistance to self-employed workers or workers otherwise not covered by regular unemployment insurance benefits payable through the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a program intended to provide temporary income to eligible individuals who become unemployed as a result of a major disaster, if the disaster has been declared as such by the federal government. It is funded by the federal government and not through state unemployment taxes paid by employers.

Because President Donald Trump has declared some Nebraska counties as major disaster areas, federal funds have been made available for DUA. As of publication time, April 26, 2019 is the deadline for individuals residing in the following counties to file claims: Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington. In addition, residents of the following counties and tribal land have until May 3, 2019, to file claims: Boone, Buffalo, Custer, Knox, Richardson, Thurston, and Santee Sioux Nation. It was previously reported here that the filing deadline for these counties was April 30th, based upon information received from the Department of Labor.

Finally, 12 more counties have been added to the declaration disaster. They are: Antelope, Boyd, Burt, Cuming, Hall, Howard, Madison, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Saline, and Stanton Counties. The filing deadline for this third block of counties is May 13, 2019. This third block of counties is new information, not previously available.

If the county you reside in has been declared a disaster area, you must meet at least one of the following requirements in order to qualify:

  1. Have a week of unemployment following the date the major disaster began; or
  2. Be unable to reach the place of employment; or
  3. Were to have started work and do not have the job or are unable to reach the job; or
  4. Become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster; or
  5. Cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the major disaster.

DUA is not available if you are entitled to regular unemployment insurance benefits or waiting for a week of credit under regular unemployment insurance benefits. There is no waiting period for DUA.

Information for filing a claim and additional eligibility information is available online at https://dol.nebraska.gov/ or by calling 402-458-2500.