Deadline nears to file unemployment claim in wildfires

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Aug. 8 is the deadline to apply for disaster unemployment assistance for those who have lost their jobs or were unable to work after the High Park or Waldo Canyon fire.


Individuals who live in the major disaster area, but who are unable to reach their place of employment or self-employed individuals unable to work outside the major disaster and those who must travel through the disaster area to their employment might also qualify for benefits.


Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and benefits will be denied, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.



The first possible week of DUA compensation is the week beginning June 10 and ending June 16. Benefit payments may continue through December 29, as long as the unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.


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 file a claim for DUA, call the Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line at 1-888-843-8382. The Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line requires applicants to leave a message with their name, social security number, callback number, and best time to return their call.


To receive DUA benefits, you must provide documentation to support that you 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.