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California Unemployment Benefit Questions

How do I reopen my claim?

If you stop filing your weekly claims (even possibly for one week), your UI claim becomes inactive. If you want to start claiming again, you must first reopen your claim by re-applying for UI benefits. You can reopen your claim any time during your 52-week benefit year for regular UI claims. If your benefit year has ended, you must apply for a new claim.

You may be eligible to reopen an existing federal extension claim if you have a balance remaining and do not monetarily qualify for regular UI benefits.

You may reopen your claim or file a new claim using the EDD’s online application, eApply4UI, or you may call our toll-free phone number and speak to a claims specialist who will reopen your claim or file a new claim. The process for reopening your claim is the same process used to file a new claim. Once you submit your UI application, the EDD will determine whether you will be reopening an existing claim or filing a new claim.

A new or reopened claim takes effect the Sunday of the week you contact the EDD. This means you must contact the EDD during the first week you want to claim benefits. Once you reopen your claim or file a new claim, a Continued Claim form for the following two weeks will be issued to you.

What are holding fees?

Holding fees are payments made to an individual with respect to the filming of a commercial. It is separate from the compensation paid for the hours or days of actual work performance. Holding fees are usually paid at the beginning of each cycle during which the commercial will be used.

The Department considers holding fees to be wages since they are compensation for personal services.

Do federal civilian employees and ex-military personnel qualify for UI benefits?

Yes, federal civilian employees and ex-military personnel qualify for UI benefits. Federal civilian and ex-military personnel are required, however to provide additional documentation.

Federal civilian employees will be required to mail copies of the Standard Form 8 and Standard Form 50 to EDD. These documents are mailed to the employee at the time of separation.
Ex-military personnel will be required to mail a copy of Member 4 of their DD214 to EDD. The DD214 is mailed to the servicemember at the time of separation.

If you do not have your DD214, The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) can provide you with information on your military service and copies of your DD214.

Does work in another state, for the military, or federal government qualify?

Yes, work and earnings from another state can be used to establish a claim. If an individual works for the federal government, or is in military service, work and earnings from overseas can also be used to establish a claim.

Questions & Answers

  1. maxine says:

    I was laid off in Jan from employer. For one week in march I accepted a job and worked one week. I do not feel safe doing some the tasks of the business that was not disclosed before hand. If i leave this position after one week, can I reopen my claim? I only only been off unemployment for 1 week.

  2. Unemployed says:

    I was laid off 5/2016. Filed EDD a month or so later. Found a new job with a different employer 9/2016. Do I file a new claim or reopen the old claim? Also, my former HR speculated if I need to reopen my claim, I would have more money accessible via EDD now than when I stopped making claims because they pay into it. Is that true?

  3. Frank Carelli says:

    I worked as manager for a power plant for approximately 8 years in California. The plant was sold to a new owner and after 9 months, I was terminated by the new owner. I took a separation package that provided a few weeks of pay. Am I eligible for UI benefits?

    • Sam says:

      It looks like your job was a “Layoff”.

      If it was involuntary separation, you can claim UI benefits after the expiry of the severance package payout.

  4. Terri says:

    Last month.Feb 2017, I was terminated from my position, been collecting unemployment. For the last few years I was working full time while going to school (evening and online classes). I stopped going to school in dec 2016 needing a break. My plan was to take evening classes again starting in the fall 2017, but I am a workaholic and going stir-crazy at home doing nothing but job searching. I am used to working 10 hours a day while attending classes in my free time. Being jobless is torture for me. I would like to enroll in at least one evening class a week starting in April, but don’t want to lose my EDD benefits in California. My first question is, will I lose my UI if I take a night class ? Can I send them my class schedule to confirm with them it won’t interfere and that if I got a job I would choose the job over the class? and two, lets say they term my UI for taking a class, when the quarter ends in June and if I still do not have a job, can I easily reopen that UI claim ? Thank you for your help.

    • Sam says:

      I suggest that you speak to the Unemployment Office to get precise answers to all your questions.

      Each state has its own rules in this regard.

  5. Dago Perez says:

    I did not certify my benefits for about a month and my claim became inactive. I have activated it again. Will I get payments for the month I was inactive?

  6. Nad says:

    Hi! I got laid off last August and currently on EDD benefit. My claim will be expired in august 2017. I am thinking of taking a temp position ( 2 months period). Will I be able to re open my claim and get the same amount benefit( currently I get $450 per week)
    I am curious as how they will calculate my benefit… any idea?

    • Martin says:

      Well, UI benefits are not revolving in nature. You will not be able to apply again if there are no benefit weeks left in your account.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office by calling them.

  7. Eric says:

    If I retire from my company I work at ami eligible for benefits if I am looking for a new job?

    How much of ui benefits are taxed?

    • Martin says:

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain your eligibility. The entire compensation provided by the state is exposed to taxation.

  8. Chris says:

    If I was let go for not excepting a promotion, also not given a warning of consequence for possible decision. Will I be eligible for benefits?

  9. mark Perrigo says:

    I have been working part time for a company that is over 50 miles away. I have been working there for three months part time. They have said they are about to offer me a 13 dollar per hour job. My car is ten years old, and I am having car trouble. It is probable that my car will break down completely, and the 100 mile per day commute is not helping things. If I turn down this permanent job based on distance from home, would I qualify? I can’t afford to buy another car, and I certainly won’t be able to on 13 per hour. I went back to school at 50 so I could make more money, but there are no jobs. Any advice, and can I qualify for benefits? I moved to CA from Detroit to look for work, and this is all I could find.

    • Martin says:

      You can be eligible to claim Unemployment Benefits on the basis of the “Distance” factor.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information and apply accordingly.

  10. Monique says:

    I have been unable to find full time employment and started a contractor position with the understanding of it leading to full time employment, which the position is ending shortly. Will I be eligible for UI?

    • Martin says:

      Contracted employees are generally not eligible since the employer does not pay the relevant taxes into the system.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state by calling them.

  11. Rodney says:

    I am working at a small grocery store that is failing. It has gotten to the point that paychecks are bouncing. they do eventually get paid but sometimes that take a week for that to happen. Came in today expecting to get paid as yesterday was payday, but it appears that we are not going to be getting any paychecks today and the owner isn’t responding to our txt messages. I want to know , if I leave now could I qualify for unemployment benefits because the owner has breached our employment contract?

    • Martin says:

      You can be eligible for such conditions.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to explore more.

  12. John Heider says:

    I’m a school crossing guard and I’ve been working from November 2015. The school year ends in mid June. I’ll be working during the summer while school is out until September. I can I receive unemployment during that time>

    • Martin says:

      Seasonal employment such as school does not qualify. Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  13. Carol says:

    I worked for 5 years at a company and got laid off in December 2015. I applied for unemployment and received one month of unemployment. I quickly found another job and started working in January. However, in March I was laid off from that company. Can I reopen my claim and receive unemployment? Thanks!

  14. Edith says:

    I started a new job in October 2015 filling in receptionist full time 40 hours a week 8:00 am to 4:30 pm for a maternity leave employee, as well promised a permanent position upon her return . In December 2015 I broke my right distal radius no surgery, cast for 6 weeks and on leave. Next week I am being medically released back to work, My employer has stated that the only position he has for me is evening receptionist part time 12 hours a week, 3 days a week, from 4:30pm to 8:30pm. Do I have to take this position and time? I cannot work that scheduled time and prefer full time. If I turn it down and quit will I not qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  15. tina says:

    I had to take an loa from work due to my dads illness.I put in for transfers and no one is hiring right now I call them everyday trying to get back to work.I applied foor unemployment will I qualify?I have no other source of income until my company has openings

  16. Elizabeth Lucero says:

    I was given a doctor’s note specifying that can still work but must be put on light duty. I normally work stocking.I gave this to my employee, they came to me and said I had to take an loa with no pay. Can I get unemployment benefits?

  17. Yvonne Quist says:

    I had almost exhausted my UI benefits with having $450 left – CA for this year. I was offered a temporary position which had the possibility of turning permanent. I took the job. The company let me go after one month without any warning – verbally or written. I quickly reopened my claim, had my phone interview and have sent in my claim form back to EDD right away because after it happened I am looking for a job again and I need my last benefit payment. The rep I spoke to at EDD per my telephone interview- said that when I contacted EDD to reopen my claim, the rep inputted that I was “fired”. Hence, the interview. Now my concern is after reading about how a benefit may not be paid out due to being “fired” I have concern. But each case is different on how it is approached. I have read that you can still receive benefits even if you are fired or you quit. I’m reaching out and I look forward to your response because I was let go which could be taken in the content of being fired, released, no need for your services anymore etc…especially with no discussion to talk to me if this company was unhappy. Their know for going temp first before hiring permanently.

    Thank you – Yvonne

    • Martin says:

      It depends on how you convince them about your exit. If your case is genuine, you will receive benefits.

      Ensure you speak confidently during the interview and present facts that favor your stance.

  18. jeanette says:

    My company is closing my office and joining another location located 65 miles from its current location. Am I eligible for unemployment insurance if I choose not to go to the new location. I was offered severance pay if choose not to. Will I still be eligible for unemployment insurance?

    • Martin says:

      If you do not choose to work in the new office, it can be considered voluntary resignation. This makes you ineligible to receive UI.

      Instead, you can accept the severance package and still qualify for compensation after the pay period is over.

  19. Julie says:

    If I quit my job because my spouse gets offered a job somewhere else and I have to move to be with him and our son am I eligible for unemployment?

  20. ELSA says:

    If I start a temporary holiday job with the USPS, will I be eligible for UI after the term is over?
    I would be resigning from my day job in order to work with the USPS over the holidays.

  21. Diana Francis says:

    I live in California and have collected unemployment for 6 months. I certify for benefitscal online and it says my money is exhausted this month. I haven’t found a job. Do I reopen my claim and will I continue to get benefits?

  22. Ananias says:

    I’m already retired and receiving my monthly pension but I’m still working with my present employer. By but by the end of 1st last Q1 the operation of the company will be closed. Do I am eligible for an EDD claim?

  23. Tasha says:

    Hi. I quit my previous job due to another job offer for higher pay. I was offered a start date and this date never came to be. Once my physical was submitted to them with lifting restrictions the company decided not to hire me. Can I apply for UI?

  24. Desiree says:

    I have exhausted my benefits and states have to wait the year before i can file a new one, in one week my year will be up and I have still not found employment, do I get to open a new claim? How does this work?

    • Martin says:

      I don’t think Unemployment Benefits are revolving in nature.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state by calling them.

  25. Jessica says:

    I was laid off from my job in California this week due to the company no longer having a need for my position. However, after looking at the base rate calendar I noticed that if I file this week (September 2015) that my base pay will be less than if I file in October due to a pay raise and promotion that I received this year. The 2nd quarter of 2015 would be my highest base rate quarter since it includes the promotion/raise (Which wouldn’t be included unless the filing was done in october 2015) I cannot seem to find any information on how benefit weeks are calculated. Do the 26 weeks start the week after you were laid off, or do they start when you file? I guess I’m wondering if I should wait so that my base calendar year more accurately reflects my current pay vs my old position.

    • Martin says:

      Your highest earnings(pay hike) will be considered. Approved benefits will be up to 26 weeks and starts from the time you start applying after being approved.

  26. Liane says:

    I had worked for a large company for 18 years until this past February when there was a workforce reduction in my unit and took an early separation package. I already exhausted my 26 weeks of UI for this year, but if I am still unemployed after the remainder of the 52 weeks is up, can I apply again at the start of the next 52 week period? I will have one full quarter plus a partial one as a wage basis,totaling about $34,000 but no other earnings during the quarters I was collecting unemployment benefits, except for a severance payment, which apparently doesn’t count as wages in the calculations. Thank you!

    • Martin says:

      The Unemployment Benefits cycle is not revolving.

      You will only be able to receive one full cycle of benefits. Please lookout for other forms of benefits in your state.

  27. Kristy says:

    I have been off work on disability for almost 4 months. I had extensive surgery to my ankle and foot and will not be 100% for probably a year. My doctor was going to let me go back to work on 9/2/15 because I am an accounting assistant and I sit 95% of the time. I just got called to come in to work for a meeting with one of the owners and the agency manager. They have informed me that my job as accounting assistant is no longer available to me. Their reason being that our 2 person accounting department is going in a different direction and they will be hiring someone else. If I want to stay I have to take a job demotion and become a receptionist/admin assistant. This job will involve standing, walking, lifting, etc about 50% of the time. I am still in a lot of pain and I know that my foot/ankle won’t take that much abuse. I just started physical therapy and have only had one session so far. My foot/lower leg is partially numb and I have to wear a brace. Do I have to take this position knowing that I won’t be able to perform a lot of the duties? I feel that they are trying to force me to quit so that I can’t apply for unemployment. Your answers and insight are appreciated. Thank you.

    • Jeff says:

      Kristy,

      You do not have to risk your health to retain the job. If you’re able to work full time and will actively look out for jobs if you decide to quit, you can claim unemployment. Ensure all supporting documents are available in case of a dispute.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Was recently laid off from a job I’ve had for 3 mos. I was paid under the table & now would like to know if I’m eligible for UI

    • Jeff says:

      With just 3 months of employment, you will not qualify.

      The claimant needs to have at least an year of continuous employment to qualify.

      • Pavlov says:

        I went out on disability for a year and then unemployment which has been exhausted. I worked for an employer 2 months then was fired, or layed off through no fault of my own. Can my unemployment or disability pay be used for an alternate base?

        • Martin says:

          If you’ve exhausted the allotted unemployment weeks, you will not qualify. We have no details about Disability Insurance. Please check with the relevant authorities.

  29. DeAnna says:

    I was laid off from my job in California but have since moved to Utah to look for employment. Do I apply for unemployment in California or Utah?

  30. Adrian says:

    Generally,any voluntary reasons for separation is not considered.

    Please check with the labor dept in your state before applying.

  31. brandy says:

    I wofked from april 2014 until july 2014 and my position was terminated do i qualify for unemployment ? And when should i file?

    • Adrian says:

      With just 4 months of employment,you may not qualify.

      If you worked before for more than 5 calender quarters,it must help.

  32. candace says:

    Can I collect benifit if I quit due to frad an miss no paynent for hours I worked

  33. Ben says:

    Can I reopen a claim if I exhausted all my benefits and have not found a job in a year?

  34. Melody says:

    Filed a first claim end of July 2013. Started new employment in January 2014. Laid off at end of May 2014. I filed a new claim however EDD reopened my previous claim as it doesn’t expire til end of July 2014. All benefits from July 2013 will now be completely exhausted by mid-June 2014. Will the new claim start now that there are no benefits left?

    • Adrian says:

      Series of claims approved is not revolving. I am afraid there may be no new claim.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  35. Scott says:

    I lost my job with the city of sacramento august 2013. Received unemployment for the six months maximum till exhausted. Found a new job in April 2014. Have worked for almost two months so far but it looks like I may lose the position due to unable to meet their work criteria. My question is if I lose this position how long do I have to work or earn before I can reapply for for unemployment benefits ?

  36. Reuben says:

    I’m retiring from the USPS can I receive unemployment benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      If you qualify in your state and are actively looking for a job,please go ahead and consider applying.

  37. william says:

    IF I HAVE BEEN A SELF EMPLOYED CONTRACTOR SCENCE (2009) AND I’VE PAID MY TAXES NOW I’M DISABLE CAN I APPLY FOR SDI

  38. william says:

    if I have been self employed contractor for the last 5yrs paid all my federal taxes and now i have no work can i fill for unemplyment

    • Adrian says:

      Did u pay specific taxes that relate to covering unemployment ?

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  39. Leah Parker says:

    Are Social Security benefits considered income? Would they affect amount of unemployment benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      It is a sort of income and does have a saying when/if you file for UI benefits. Some states are ok with a citizen receiving both whilst others are against.

      Its best if you speak to a rep from the customer service of the labor dept in your state.

  40. Lori says:

    Do I have to make atleast 11,625 in each of the 4 quarters to qualify for max or just atleast 1?

    • Adrian says:

      I don’t think there is such a higher limit of monetary eligibility for qualification.

      Speak to the claims center of the labor dept in CA for specific info.

  41. Dan Staples says:

    i mailed my claim in late. Is this going to cause a problem in receiving my benifits?

    • Adrian says:

      You must follow timelines in submission of claims and required documents.Delay in submission may result in late processing thus delaying payment to you.

  42. LEVI ROBERTS says:

    I have not received my EDD debit card yet. The automated phone system said there was a payment issued on the 20th of this month and that I would receive my debit card in the mail within 3 to 5 days. However I have not received anything. I need to know how to fix this ASAP. Anyonme know what I need to do?

  43. Franco says:

    I submitted application for unemployment benefits , still haven’t received anything by mail or email. Is there anything I can do or someone I can speak with
    I am ex-military

  44. Robert says:

    I worked from April 22 2013 to being laid off October 11 2013. I’m I eligible for unemployment?

  45. Robynne Mansfield says:

    I will be laid off this Friday. If I take a short term 2 month 1099 contract and then the contract is finished can I claim unemployment from the 1st employer that laid me off?

    • kathy says:

      If you are at all self employed, you may lose your benefits. You had better call the unemployment office with details to find out.

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