Workers who lost their jobs, and self-employed individuals and farmworkers who have been unable to work due to the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred in September may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance. Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is administered by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

Claims must be filed by December 26th to be considered timely. Any claims filed after this date will be considered untimely unless the individual provides good cause for filing after this date.

The first possible week of compensation for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance purposes is the week ending September 21st.  The last possible week of compensation is the week ending May 23rd of 2020.  

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for individuals in the eleven counties included in the most recent federal disaster declaration – including in our area:  Brookings, Lake, McCook, Minnehaha, and Moody counties, as well as the Flandreau Indian Reservation.


More information…

DUA is available for individuals in Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody and Yankton counties and the Flandreau and the Yankton Indian Reservations who:

  • Do not qualify for regular state reemployment assistance/unemployment benefits in any state;
  • Worked, 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 or self-employment location because they must travel through the disaster area and are prevented from doing 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 work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income; or
  • Have become the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

Individuals whose employment has been affected should apply for DUA by calling the Claims Call Center at 605-626-3179, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. CST. Please specify your claim is related to Disaster Unemployment Assistance and the storms.

Applicants will need

  • their Social Security number;
  • copies of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs; and
  • documentation of employment, self-employment or prospective work when the disaster occurred.

To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the application is filed.

For further information, go to the Department of Labor and Regulation’s DUA webpage at For a Fact Sheet on FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, go on the agency’s website to