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. Question:
    Say for example I got a job offer and I accepted, but I don’t start work until nearly a week later. The day I accepted the offer happens to be a few days before the next Benefit Certification. How would that affect the certification, and would I still receive benefits for that time?

    Also say for example later on I decided to refuse the work offer because I wanted to go for a different job offer, but then job offer didn’t go through for one reason or another. How would that affect certification? Also if I had certified for benefits after accepting the job offer, but before I decided to refuse the job offer later on, what would I need to do? Would I be in trouble for fraud or anything because of this?

    1. You should still be able to claim until the employment officially starts. Please call the Unemployment Office for details.

  2. My daughter and I were extremely sick in the last month and I did not apply for benefits because I did not receive the reminder email and was not checking online due to my illness. I reopened my claim but am wondering if I will be paid for the month I missed applying for. Is there any way I can be reimbursed that money?

    1. My initial claim is with employer A. My benefits were pending. I appealed it with employer A. I received an offer from employer B. It didn’t work out with employer B. I reopened my claim. Edd said as long as I make $2500 from employer B, I will be able to collect from Edd. Employer A said that I was forced to resign it termination due to misconduct. When I talked to edd they said I should still be pending. They were able to catch it. Why are my benefits still affected from employer A? My last payment is now in pending and I was able to collect prior payments. Will I have to pay this back? This isn’t my error and I still want my last payment from employer B

      1. Lea,

        That is perhaps the Unemployment Office is considering income from both your past employers during the base period.

  3. I was off work (medically signed out) and being treated for severe carpal tunnel that required surgery. I worked for a small private business and was terminated while being treated. I was on SDI and filed unemployment after I was released by my doctor with no restrictions. EDD informed me my employer is contesting. The termination paperwork states that I was terminated due to undue hardship on the business and inability to accommodate. What would be a reason they are contesting?

    1. Christine,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. The claimant should be able and available for work. If you think you meet these criteria, please ask for an adjudicator in case they deny.

    1. Will,

      I tried looking up for that information on the department’s website and could not find anything relevant. Please call the Claims Center for details.

  4. I’m confused. I retired from the military and I don’t qualify for UI because I receive a pension for which I “didn’t pay into the retirement fund” and therefore it is “deductible” income, even though my branch pays for UI for me (according to the Department of Labor…and I pay taxes…which fund the government. This doesn’t seem right to me. I have friends who also retired in California and somehow collected UI. Is there a law or rule I’m missing?

  5. I had benefits in 2014
    now I need to apply in 2018
    Do I get a new account number or is the number from 2014 a lifetime number ?

  6. I am currently approved for training and was accepted with a target date of 6/2019. I received a notice in the mail today saying I need to reopen a claim. I have got to have this completed ASAP I have rent due

  7. I received unemployment benefits for the first week period (mandatory first week waived, first received payment for second week) but immediately stopped because of shame in doing so. I tried surviving without while searching for a job but have nearly exhausted my savings so it looks like I will have to collect despite my misgivings. I am still within my collection period and still have significant balance remaining. How do I go about reapplying for unemployment?

    1. David,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, Unemployment Insurance is only a one-time affair. Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire about the availability of benefits in any other form.

  8. My companies HQs are in California and I live in another state. Will I receive unemplpyment from California?

  9. If i worked in a Temp Agency do i need to put the name of agency as my last employer or from Job assignment ?

  10. If i am on unemployment and receive $300 income from my side business I understand that I need to report that and my benefits for that week will be reduced. Is this “reduction” a permanent loss? My total benefit if I am without work should be $450 X 26 weeks which equals $11,700. But in this case would it be $11,700 minus the $300?

    1. Lidian,

      I do not know the exact calculation of how its done in your state. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  11. My niece’s spouse died at the end of last year n wanted to file his unemployment benefits n she took the form to the local EDD office n told she needed to mail to P.O. box in riverside but didn’t give the dept: what is the full address%?

    1. Mercy,

      There might be a separate wing/address which I am not aware of. Please call the Claims Center for exact details.

  12. I just started UI and one of the questions online is whether I’ve made money by… and then there’s a long list of items. Pension is at the top. I do collect my late husband’s pension. Do I need to disclose that?

  13. I have been working as an independent contractor for the past 15 years. Recently started a salaried position
    n and will be laid off soon. Can I collect unemployment

    1. Jennifer,

      Contract positions do not generally qualify since employers do not pay taxes into the system. Please inquire further with your employer.

  14. Is the unemployment benefit retroactive? I stopped working mid June 2017 but did not file until Sept. My last date of work was listed on the unemployment application but I only received benefits based on the date I filed. If it is possible to receive retroactive pay, how do I go about filing for that?

    1. Tracey,

      As much as I am aware, a claim cannot retroactive. For clarification, please contact the Unemployment Office.

    1. Barbara,

      Most of the states allow the provision of both. Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  15. I quit my job today because the work conditions have been so horrible that I could not stand to do my job properly and effectively. I have picture documents. Most is against food and health regulations. Among other things. I also traveled 35 miles one way on my application I stated I could work any hours after 7 am. But that changed I was expected to work in regular unscheduled hours. Anywhere from 2am on. When I was scheduled to be there at 7 am.. do I qualify for unemployment? Plus mentioning I live in Nevada but worked in California.
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Yes, you can be eligible if you quit due to hostile work conditions.

      Please consider applying and provide documentary evidence in the case of a dispute.

  16. I’ve seen comments regarding UI eligibility following expiry of a severance package. What exactly does that mean in terms of how the time frame is determined?

    1. You should read about what surrounds Severance Pay and you can get information about it on our website.

  17. I was laid off and applied for benefits on Jan 1, 2017. Then I got a full-time job which lasted during the tax season, until April 18 and now I am jobless again. I applied for a New Claim with a more recent time period as base period but I got a letter saying they simply re-opened my old claim. I didn’t know if I MUST use the old claim or if I can open a new one. There was no explanation provided why they didn’t open a new claim for me. Is this the way things always work or was the EDD person being lazy…? Thank you, Erin

    1. Erin,

      I can understand your frustration. Please call the Claims Center to understand further and to check if any action is required from your end.

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