California Unemployment Benefits
Are you physically able to work?
Are you willing to actively look for a job?
Did your employer pay unemployment taxes ("Covered Employment")?
Did you earn at least $1125 in the base period in California?
Base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. If you are filing today, base period is Jan 2012 - Mar 2012 to Oct 2012 - Dec 2012
How did you lose your job?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Were you laid off for no fault of your own?
Applying online is the easiest and fastest way to claim benefits. Check for more specific details such as timings and requirements to claim benefits in your state.
CALL: 1-866-333-4606 which is the self service number. The Spanish line is available at 1-866-333-4606. To reach a customer service live person, dial 1-800-300-5616. This line answers your questions about Filing Claims, getting information and any general inquiries. Deaf and hard of hearing callers to contact CA unemployment office by using 1-800-815-9387, the TTY toll-free number. This will put you in direct contact with an EDD customer service representative who can provide you with unemployment insurance services.
Visit UC Center:
You can’t seem to find assistance on call? No worries. Visit one of the UC center and let the specialist help you out. Please note that wait times can be longer but assistance is guaranteed.
you are not eligible
What is the Eligibility Criteria in California?
There are some basic rules for eligibility. Even if you meet some of these rules partially, you should still apply for unemployment because state offices make a reasonable attempt to process your claim, as long as you provide a good justification.
To learn more check unemployment eligibility article
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.Claim your benefits
How to File Your Initial Claim in California?
If You Are Not a United States Citizen
You must give verification that you were legally eligible to work in your state and that you are presently eligible to begin a new job.
How to File Your Weekly Claim?
After you file your application for unemployment benefits, you must start filing your weekly claims. You require filing each week, even though you are:
You can file your weekly claim:
File every week that you want to claim benefits and keep on filing until you go back to work, run out of benefits or stop seeking work. You should claim at least one week before we can make a decision on your eligibility.
How to Claim for an Extension?
If you are presently filing weekly claims for unemployment benefits; carry on filing your weekly claim if you are jobless or working reduced hours. You will be informed by mail of your eligibility for the added benefits.
In case you have been filing weekly claims and are still laid off or working reduced hours, you will have to file an application for these extra benefits online or by telephone. You will be alerted by mail of your eligibility for the additional benefits.
To be eligible for EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you must:
To be eligible for EB benefits you must:
California Unemployment Questions
How are UI benefits calculated?
Benefits are calculated using an individual’s earnings during a specific 12 month period (this is called a base period). The base period begins approximately 15-17 months prior to the date the claim is filed. The amount paid each week is calculated based on the calendar quarter with the highest earnings during the base period.
What if I lost my job and cannot work because of the disaster or emergency?
If you are unemployed due to a disaster or emergency, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. When you file your UI claim, you must explain that you were unemployed as a result of a disaster or emergency. UI claims can be filed online, by telephone, by mail, or by fax. Find information about filing a UI claim or call EDD at one of the numbers listed below in the Disaster Unemployment Assistance section. Individuals with current claims for benefits, who are unable to receive their Unemployment Insurance payments at their home due to the disaster or emergency, should contact their local post office.
What if I am sick or injured, and cannot work?
An individual who files for UI benefits must be physically able to work, available for work, ready and willing to immediately accept work, and meet all other eligibility requirements before UI benefits can be paid. An individual who is not eligible for UI benefits because they are sick or injured, can file a claim for California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. SDI provides short-term benefits to an eligible individual who suffers loss of wages because he/she is unable to work due to a non-work related illness or injury, or due to pregnancy or childbirth. SDI benefits can be paid only after an individual meets all of the basic eligibility requirements.
How does vacation pay or holiday pay affect my eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits?
Vacation pay or holiday may be deducted from your benefits. It will depend on whether or not you have been given a definite date to return to work at the time you were placed on layoff status: If you are not given a definite date to return to work, any vacation pay or holiday pay paid to you when your job ends is not deducted from your weekly benefit amount.
If you are given a definite date to return to work, any vacation or holiday pay for the period of the temporary layoff is deductible from your benefits. The Department will allocate vacation and holiday pay as follows:
- Vacation pay will be allocated to the number of days you requested vacation or to the number of days your employer required you to use as vacation during the temporary layoff.
- Holiday pay that is paid before you return to work will be allocated to the week(s) in which the holiday(s) fall. Holiday pay that is paid after you return to work will be allocated to the week that you return to work.
File unemployment extension in CAOnce you have exhausted your entitlement to your regular UI claim, you may be eligible to file the first extension. If you are eligible to file the first extension, the Department will automatically file the first extension and send you an additional Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. No action is required on your part.
Do I need to reapply for the second extension?
Once you have collected all benefits payable on your first extension, you may be eligible to file the second extension. If you are eligible to file the second extension, the Department will automatically file the second extension and send you an additional Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. No action is required on your part.
How Benefits are calculated?
To calculate your weekly benefits amount click here
The minimum benefits amount in California is $40.
The maximum benefits amount in California is $450
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.
To learn more Unemployment benefits article