Waldo Canyon Fire

With the recent natural disaster that hit our community recently, we thought it would be pertinant for people to be reminded of the Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance program. Here is an article from the Department of Labor, put together by Meike Alberts with Paychex.

If you have become unemployed because of a wildfire evacuation or because your worksite has been impacted by a wildfire, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits or Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits and live in a wildfire burn area, we have important information for you.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance


Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides you with financial assistance if your employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the High Park and Waldo Canyon wildfires and you are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.


DUA is available if you:

  • 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 your 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 you can no longer perform was your primary source of income.
  • Have become the major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household.

NOTE: 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 your DUA claim is filed. 


DUA benefits are payable to you only for weeks of unemployment in the Disaster Assistance Period. The first possible week of DUA compensation is the week beginning June 10, 2012, and ending June 16, 2012. Benefit payments may continue through December 29, 2012, as long as the unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

Filing a Claim/Questions

The Wildfire Unemployment Resource phone line requires you to leave a message with your name, social security number, callback number, and best time(s) to return your call. 

You may also visit a local Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or the Pikes Peak or Larimer County Workforce Centers.  

  • The Waldo Canyon DRC is located at 105 North Spruce Street Colorado Springs, CO 80905
  • The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is located at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road in Colorado Springs – (719) 667-3700.

This is a special fund set up on the federal level and that business’ individual State Unemployment Rate and Fund would not be affected by individuals filing claims.

Clients & Friends,

The past week has been challenging for our city.  Many of our clients, friends and their employees have been affected by the fires in our community, and we’re all looking for ways to help others cope with this unprecedented event. Please know that you have our support, and as a firm, we would be honored to provide solutions or resources to anyone in need.  Here are a few things to consider:

1. If you haven’t been affected by the Waldo Canyon fire, please consider a donation to support those who have been affected.  BiggsKofford is making a special donation to the United Way.  Click here if you would like to learn how you can join us and make donations to the local non-profit organizations supporting our community.

2. If you’ve lost income or your business has been been affected, you might consider if your business has insurance coverage to replace lost income, in addition to more obvious property coverage you might have. Sometimes umbrella policies are overlooked and you end up missing benefits that you paid for.   

3. In addition to business coverage, some homeowner policies include additional benefits, beyond the home itself (i.e. lost income, relocation costs, temporary housing, business records, etc.). Remember to capture those costs, document them, and make a complete claim. Don’t forget to claim coverage that you’ve paid for.  If you might be evacuated be sure to use your smart phone to take pictures and video of your contents before you leave, should you need to make an insurance claim.

4. If you feel you are in the line of the fire currently or if these fires have been an eye opener for future risk, we suggest creating a personal disaster recovery plan (maintaining backup records, documenting assets in your home and business, create an “evacuation packing list”, etc.). Other ideas to help with this type of planning can be found here.

BiggsKofford is a proud member of this community. It is going to take effort and support from everyone to get past this disaster.  If you have need for personal support during this natural disaster, we would be happy to help you.

Make a Payment to BiggsKofford

Warning, this is NOT the Colorado Department of Revenue. This is to make a payment to BiggsKofford, CPA Firm.