Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits.


When a major disaster has been declared by the President, DUA is generally available to any unemployed worker or self-employed individual who lived, worked, or was scheduled to work in the disaster area at the time of the disaster; and due to the disaster:

  • no longer has a job or a place to work; or
  • cannot reach the place of work; or
  • cannot work due to damage to the place of work; or
  • cannot work because of an injury caused by the disaster.

An individual who becomes the head of household and is seeking work because the former head of household died as a result of the disaster may also qualify for DUA benefits.


DUA benefits are payable to individuals only for weeks of unemployment in the Disaster Assistance Period, which begins with the first day of the week following the date the major disaster began and for up to 26 weeks after the date the disaster was declared by the President, as long as the individual’s unemployment continue to be a result of the major disaster.

The maximum weekly benefit amount is determined under the provisions of the state law for unemployment compensation in the state where the disaster occurred. However, the minimum weekly amount is half (50%) of the average benefit amount in the state.

Filing a Claim

In the event of a disaster in Maine, the Maine Department of Labor will publish announcements about the availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

If you have moved to Maine following a disaster in your state, you should contact the unemployment office in the state where you used to live or contact the Maine Unemployment Claims Center at 1-800-593-7660 ( TTY: Maine relay 711.)