Disaster Unemployment Assistance available for those affected by High Park Fire

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available to workers who lost their jobs, and self-employed individuals who are unable to work, because of the High Park wildfire.

Affected individuals who live or work in Larimer County must submit applications for DUA by Aug. 8. The first possible week of DUA compensation is the week beginning June 10 and ending June 16. The High Park Fire was reported on June 9.

DUA is available to people who:
• Do not qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
• Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, but were unable to do so because of the disaster.
• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
• Cannot reach their place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
• Have been prevented from work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
• Establish that work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
• Have become the major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

To receive DUA benefits, claimants must provide documentation to support that they were working, were self-employed, or had prospective employment at the time of the disaster. Self-employed individuals must provide federal tax forms (including all schedules) for the 2011 tax year. The documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA claim is filed.

Benefit payments may continue through Dec. 29, as long as the unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

To file a claim for DUA, applicants may visit the Larimer County Workforce Center in the County Courthouse Office Building, 200 W. Oak St., Suite 5000, Fort Collins; phone 970-498-6600, or go to the website at larimerworkforce.org/announcements/high-park-evacuees/. Unemployment Insurance representatives will be staffing the Workforce Center during the month of July, exclusively for victims of the wildfires and for those eligible for DUA.

Applicants may also call the Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line at 1-888-843-8382 and leave a message with their name, Social Security number, callback number, and best time(s) to return their call.

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