More Northwest Iowa Counties Added to Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Three More Counties Now Eligible for Benefits Following June Storms and Flooding.


DES MOINES, IOWA – Federal authorities have added three more Iowa counties to the list of places where individuals are eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) following severe weather last month. Iowa Workforce Development is now accepting applications for DUA from individuals in Buena Vista, Cherokee, and O’Brien counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and/or flooding stemming from weather that began on June 16.

A previous announcement made such benefits available to residents in Clay, Emmet, Lyon, Plymouth, and Sioux counties. Impacted individuals can start applying today. Applications for this DUA must be filed by August 23, 2024.


To be eligible for DUA benefits under Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-[DR-4796-IA], individuals:

  • Must be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President; and
  • Must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien; and
  • Must be unable to qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state; and
  • Must have worked, been self-employed in, or been scheduled to begin work or self-employment in one of the counties listed above; and
  • Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

Also eligible to apply for DUA are individuals who:

  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to their place of employment as a direct result of a disaster; or
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household; or
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government.

What You Need

  • Individuals will need their Social Security Number and the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer to file for DUA.
  • Applicants are required to provide proof (at the time of filing or within 21 days of filing their DUA claim) that they were employed or self-employed at the time the disaster occurred or were scheduled to begin (or resume) a job or self-employment when the disaster occurred. 
  • A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs may also be required (self-employed individuals should also provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F).


Applications filed after August 23, 2024, will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after this date. Individuals can receive up to 27 weeks of DUA benefits as long as his/her unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Eligibility for DUA benefits will be determined on a week-to-week basis.

How To Apply

Individuals who may be eligible for assistance, must file a claim online with Iowa Workforce Development’s Unemployment Benefits Online Application System (

If assistance is needed over the phone, please call IWD Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. After a claim application has been submitted, refer to the additional DUA information on our website at

Disaster, Flooding, Unemployment Benefits


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here