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California Unemployment Application

How to File Your Initial Claim in California?

    1. If you have been separated from work, you can file your initial claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment.
    2. You can file your first claim in one of the two ways: by calling the TeleClaim Center or by visiting this website.
    3. Have your entire information ready before filing your claim.
    4. If you have received severance pay upon your separation from work, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits.
    5. If eligible for unemployment benefits, you can expect to receive your first payment in 3-4 weeks if there are no issues with your claim.
    6. In general, it takes approximately 3 weeks to process a claim; however, you will still need to claim benefits every week.

Information needed is as follows:

Personal Information

  1. Your full name (including previously changed name)
  2. Your Social Security Number
  3. The year you were born
  4. Your home address and telephone number
  5. Your alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  6. Submission of DD Form 214 in the event if you have served in the military
  7. Whether you have filed an unemployment insurance claim in your state or in any other state during the past 12 months.
  8. The reason that you are no longer working or that your hours have been reduced
  9. The names, dates of birth and social security numbers for any dependent children, if you are going to apply for Dependency Allowance (DA).

Information of the Last Employer

  1. Name of the company as it appears on the W-2 form or your paycheck
  2. Complete address including zip code
  3. Name and contact details of your supervisor
  4. Your last day of employment
  5. Reasons for reduction of the working hours or the reason for separation from the previous employer.   

Information of All Previous Employers

  1. The names and addresses of all of the employers you have worked for over the past 18 months before you file  your claim. If you are reopening a claim, be ready with the same information for the past 8 weeks.
  2. Start and end date of all previous employments
  3. Remuneration received from previous employers and the mode of payment through which wages received.


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 currently eligible to begin a new job.

Know more about California unemployment –
Calculate Benefits
Q&A Section
Check Eligibility

  1. I was laid off from work in 2016, company close. after that I decided to get my comercial lincense and because self employee for part of 2016-2017-2018 and half of 2019, now I don’t have work as self employee anymore and have already apply for jobs but haven’t got call from anyone. Cani file unemployment this in California

    • Antonio,

      If you paid unemployment taxes as a self-employed, you can be eligible to claim. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  2. I worked for an insurance company exactly one year as a recruiter. I took the CA property and casualty insurance test through the state of CA 5 times and could not pass the test. In fear of my job, I resigned because there was no future for me in the field. I’m actively looking for a salary job. Do I qualify for unemployment?

    • Beau,

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

  3. I intend to quit my job of 12 years due to the chronic back pain that I’ve been carrying for several years (I had MRI copy from hospital).Do I qualify to receive Unemployment Benefits if I apply?

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

  4. I was fired from my full-time job in July 2016. I did not know I qualified for unemployment benefits due to my age and simply because I didn’t know it existed. After I got fired, I went back to community college to finish pre-reqs to apply for grad school. Am I still able to qualify for unemployment benefits even though it has been over a year?

    • Sammi,

      To be eligible for Unemployment Insurance, the claimant is required to have active employment and required earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  5. I was employed by a Texas company in early 2016. I lived in both California and Connecticut during my tenure with the company. I paid California income tax all of 2016 and through May of 2017 since I spent more of my time in there. I then paid Connecticut taxes from June’17 through the date I was laid off in September of 2017. Where do I file for unemployment? I still have a residence in CA and a CA driver license but haven’t paid state income tax there since May’17.

    • Ron,

      Please apply for UI benefits from the state where your employment was based since your employer would have remitted taxes.

  6. I keep going further into debt due to low salary, I am now forced to move to another state to be able to afford bills. Can I collect Unemployment?

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may not qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm.


  8. I was off work and being paid through worker’s comp. due to a work injury when my company went out of business, and have since been cleared to return to work. I was trying to fill out the application for UI, but I’m not sure how to handle the portion that deals with income, since I was being paid by worker’s comp. for about 2 months after the company closed. Do I include that money as part of my income, or do I strictly list the income I earned directly from the company, and how do I deal with the time discrepancy?


  9. Hello, I just moved to California from dc and I was supposed to be working but I wasn’t told the position isn’t until 3-4 months from now due to over staffed. I was working at least 4 years straight before moving. What do u suggest

    • If you lost the last job due to involuntary reasons, please consider filing from the state where your last employment was based.

  10. Hello,

    I was terminated from my last job early December 2015. Since then I have been applying to jobs but have had no luck. I am wondering if I am still eligible to receive unemployment? If so where do I apply for that? I have no means of any cash so I have been replying to Craigslist Ad’s getting some here and there. My living situation is not permanent due to my lack of funds so I am eager to know how long this will take since I didn’t expect to have the bad luck I’ve recieved finding new work.

    • I filed for unemployment in April 2016 and have 1 more month of payment before the claim runs out. i have been searching for work but have not had any luck. Can I file for an extension? Once my unemployment runs out I will not have any income

      • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  11. Hi my name is Mary I am a military dependent , my husband is getting transfer to San Diego California and now we are now currently stationed in Great Lakes Illinois, I have to let go of my job do to tranfer and also my job was federal also within the military. 8My question is where do I have to file for unemployment california or Illinois and can I do it online or it has to be personally or over the phone? Also is there any document I need from my job to file since I’m a military dependent?

    • Mary,

      You can file from the state where you were employed previously. You can apply over the phone or online (recommended). Details of documentation will be made available when you apply on the portal.

  12. I am a minor working in the state of California, I am a high school student and have worked and a frozen yogurt shop for over a year now, I was scheduled to take the SAT on a Saturday morning(starting at 8 and usually last a few hours) it didn’t get done until 1:20 and I was scheduled to work the morning shift at 12. I immediately called my employers to let them know the situation(me taking the test, it getting done late, and the absence of a worker opening the shop) they immediately fired me- I was understandable about the situation, since I was not there to work my shift. I did not mention to them ahead of time that I was taking the test, but I’ve been told that they shouldn’t have fired me, since my reason of tardiness was for a school function? I heard anything school related is to be excused, especially since I am still a minor…. is this correct? I have been out of a job since October 7, 2015 am I eligible for unemployment?

    • You can go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits for being wrongly terminated from the job.

      Be ready to provide the required proof in case of a dispute.

  13. Hello i just have a question will I be legible to qualify for unemployment I recently had to quit my job to focus on school. I used to work for care housing an low income after school program it was a part time job

  14. I’m a recent college graduate who can’t find employment and hasn’t worked for a couple years. Am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

    • You will not be eligible since the claimant is provided weekly benefits on the basis employment in preceding 4 quarters and you don’t seem to have worked during this period.

    • Please note they only consider 4 of the last 5 calendar quarters to determine eligibility.

      Kindly check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  15. I am in the Military, I am a Pennsylvania resident at this time but plan on staying in California were I am currently stationed once I am out of the Military. I did have a job lined up upon my end of tour but it did not work out. which state can I file?

    • Military men have special provisions and can apply for UI benefits under the UCX scheme in most of the states.

      You should be able to apply and receive benefits from CA(where you intend to stay).

  16. I worked in California and got laid off due to no work I am a AZ resident can I apply for unemployment in California??

  17. I had two jobs. I lost one due to them hiring a permanent person (I was through a temp agency). On the “last job” part of application, do I list the job I lost or the part-time (8 hours a week) job I still have?

    • I guess you must list the one you lost. Also make it clear(if any “Notes” section is available) that you also have a part time job in hand.

  18. My last day of work was dec 18 2012 due to family medical leave, where i went on disability. My disability has now ended. Am i eligible to get unemployment as my job considered me as having resigned?

    • You should be eligible as you are now able and available to work.

      Please consider applying for UI benefits in your state as you start looking for a job.

  19. February 6th 2014,management fired me.On 10th Feb 2014 I had applied for unemployment benefit. I want to know when I will get or start my benefit?

    • Initial claim may take upto a standard of 10 working days to be processed. Please contact the claims helpline in your state for update on status of your claim.

  20. I am an LVN and have been employed full time for the last 10 years. I received a DUI and now my nursing license is being revoked / suspended. Am I eligible for Unemployement benefits?

  21. I applied for unemployment on September 25,2013 on-line, you guys gave me a confirmation number and I still haven’t heard back from you. And I can’t get through on the phone lines. How do I know if I qualified? And do I get paid for the last two in a half weeks?

    • This is not the unemployment office – we are a public website. You will get a letter in the mail. It is possible in many states to find information about your claim online – look around the website, see if it helps.

  22. I have been calling for weeks now. I just cant get through to anybody. It’s the same message that I keep hearing after being on the phone for 6 minutes at a time. I start early 8am to 12 pm cant get through. So I sent an email that I heard will be faster. They gave me a number but that is not helping me.Is there anybody out there in calif. that can help?Idon’t know what’s harder to find a job or make this my job trying to get through? Help

  23. I am 5 months pregnant and I have a very stressful job. I have only been at the company for 6 months so I don’t qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act. I’m worried about my health and the healthy of my baby. If I quit, would I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

  24. I have been trying to file an unemployment claim for the past week. To no avail, I can’t file online because I worked in another stated within the past 18 months and the online system indicates I have to call in. Since Monday, September 23. 2013 I have not been able to talk to anyone due to high call volume and then you hang up on me. I need to reopen my claim in California, so does the mean I lose a week’s unemployment because you can’t answer your phones? Not fair! How do I get through to your office?

  25. I quit my jib due to moving out of state. I am currently searching for a job here. Can I still receive benefits?

    • You can apply – give them the details – you may have to file in the state you moved from, but either state can tell you which one.

  26. I am trying to file for a new unemployment benefits claim. I tried filing online but it told me to call the 1800-300-5616 number because I also worked in Colorado within the last 18 months. Tried calling the number to speak to someone…called even before 8am and was told the volume of calls was too great try again later. So I try back in 10 minute increments all day, and I get an automated service asking why I called. I push the appropriate prompts for why I called, and again I get told that the number of callers is too great and to try back later. Then I get disconnected every time. Phone just hangs up! What am I suppose to do to file a claim when I can’t file it online or talk to a human being? Its ridiculous, I have called that phone number for the past week, several times, as soon as they open and I have gotten nowhere!!! Please Help this is extremely frustrating!! Is there someone else or a office I can go to in Ukiah, California?

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