Disaster Unemployment Assistance Made Available to Eligible Individuals Impacted by the 9/10/23 – 9/13/23 Severe Storm in Rhode Island

Published on Thursday, February 22, 2024

Providence County – Today, Governor McKee announces that the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will facilitate the payment of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits on behalf of FEMA. DUA is a federally funded program available to individuals who worked or lived in Providence County and experienced a loss of employment or self-employment as a direct result of the September 10th-13th severe storm that brought flooding and tornadoes to Rhode Island.

Individuals seeking assistance through the DUA program must first file for regular unemployment benefits. As part of the application process, claimants should indicate that their employment was impacted by the storm. The Department of Labor will determine if the claimant is eligible for regular unemployment first, as required by FEMA. If the claimant is deemed ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, the applicant will be provided with the DUA application. Eligible Rhode Islanders can collect benefits for the weeks during which they meet the necessary program criteria.

To qualify for DUA benefits, individuals must have experienced loss of employment directly connected to the disaster.

  • Individuals whose place of employment was closed because of physical damage to the property or by federal, state, or local government in response to the disaster.
  • Individuals who could not access their place of employment due to travel restrictions, road closures, etc.
  • Individuals who were scheduled to begin new work but were prevented from doing so because of the disaster.
  • Individuals who could not work due to an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who are now the major support for their family because the head of household died because of the disaster.
  • Individuals who lost work because the entity that provides most of the income and revenue for the business was damaged or closed because of the disaster.

To apply for DUA benefits, visit Rhode Island’s Unemployment Insurance claims filing website, UIOnline - https://beta.uionline.dlt.ri.gov/. Create an account and choose the “file a claim” option. If an application for DUA benefits is received, those individuals should expect to be contacted by a department representative who may ask follow-up questions and require proof of wages and/or employment. Any individuals unable to file a claim online may call the Department at 401-415-6772. Applications for DUA benefits will be accepted through March 25, 2024. Eligible individuals may be entitled to a maximum of 43 weeks of benefits.

Visit dlt.ri.gov for additional information on DUA benefits or visit FEMA.gov for additional benefits and assistance that may be available.