DEO Press Releases

Filing Deadlines Extended for Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Dec 07, 2018

Assistance is available for residents and businesses in declared counties impacted by Hurricane Michael

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has extended the application deadlines for both Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

Florida residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Michael can apply for DUA. DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning Oct. 14, 2018, until April 13, 2019, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. DEO is currently accepting applications for DUA from residents in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income; 
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the former breadwinner’s death occurred as a result of the major disaster.

Applicants 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.

To file a DUA claim by the Dec. 31, 2018, deadline, go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 1-800-204-2418 and choose the speak to an agent option to speak to a customer service representative. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely, and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is administered by DEO, in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network, to provide cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loan helps bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. DEO is currently accepting applications for emergency bridge loans from businesses in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.

To complete an application by the Dec. 31, 2018 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voicemails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org.

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