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.



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

You may reopen your claim or file a new claim using the EDD’s online website and follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. Access your UI Online account
  2. Select Reopen Your Claim
  3. Answer all questions
  4. Review and submit your answers
  5. Check your status

You may log in to the website or call the toll-free phone number, and speak to a claims specialist to 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 wage 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 work for the federal government, or is in military service, work and earnings from overseas can also be used to establish a claim.



  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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!

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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

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

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

      • 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?

        • 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.

  5. 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?

  6. Generally,any voluntary reasons for separation is not considered.

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

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

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

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

  8. 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?

    • 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.

  9. 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 ?

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

    • Did u pay specific taxes that relate to covering unemployment ?

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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

  15. 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?

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
https://fileunemployment.org