FileUnemployment
  • check eligibility
  • benefits calculator
  • apply for benefits
California-logo
State: California (CA)
Phone Number: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.
Major Towns:Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Bakersfield
Current Unemploymnet Rate in California

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 CA

Once 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.

Questions & Answers

179 thoughts on “California Unemployment Benefits”

  1. Jonah Yur says:

    i have not received my 1099 in 2017 how can I get a copy?

  2. Annette says:

    I need to check the status of my claim. Was it approved or denies

    Annette Romero

    1. Sam says:

      Annette,

      You can check the claim status either by phone or the internet, over the department’s official website.

  3. Maria says:

    I am a Washington State resident but have been working in California for about a year now. I am a military spouse. My husband just got orders to Tennessee. I had to leave my work to move with him since I am included in his orders. Am I eligible to collect unemployment while looking for work?

    1. Sam says:

      Maria,

      As a military spouse, you can be eligible to claim UI benefits. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your new state to find out more about the benefits available to you.

  4. Frank Goleta says:

    I was unemployed throughout all of 2017 and then found employment in February of 2018. I’ve been employed from February 20th. But now I’m facing a potential lay off by June 30th. Does my 2017 unemployment benefits count as wages earned? and Does my claim begin on July 2nd?

    1. Sam says:

      Frank,

      All earnings will be considered. I suggest you use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to ascertain benefits.

  5. S says:

    My notification date that I was being laid off due to downsizing was May 30th and my last day of regular work is June 30th. What is the earliest date in CA I can file for unemployment?

    1. Sam says:

      You can apply for it immediately after your last working day. There is no waiting period.

  6. cori says:

    I have 2 part time jobs, they both cut my hours can I collect some kind of unemployment till I find another job?

    1. Sam says:

      Cori,

      I am not sure if you qualify on the basis of part-time employment. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. BERNARDINO cARDOZA says:

    I WILL LIKE TO apply FOR DESEMPLEO

  8. Patti Wright says:

    I receive a small pension and Social security. I had a P/T job but got laid off. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    1. Sam says:

      Patti,

      If you’re seeking employment, you should be able to claim UI benefits.

  9. James Lennon says:

    In California is unemployment compensation paid by a check mailed to your address or is a Debt type card used?

    1. Sam says:

      James,

      It depends on what you’ve opted for. Please call the Claims Center for details.

  10. Kev says:

    My question is the last place I worked was California in Jan and Feb of 2018 but before that I worked in a different state. I want to know can I file for California now ? even though my base quarter period for sept I worked in a different state ? I work for the federal government.

    1. Sam says:

      Kev,

      Please file from the state where your employment was based.

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