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State: California (CA)
Phone Number:1-866-333-4606 which is the self service number, serviced in both English and Spanish. To reach a customer service live person, dial 1-800-300-5616 for English, 1-800-326-8937 for Spanish, 1-866-303-0706 for Mandarin, and 1-800-547-3506 for Cantonese. 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

  1. I recently worked a seasonal job and was not offered a position to stay on, I recently filed a claim but have not worked since 2014, do i still qualify for unemployment?

    1. Nancy,

      Seasonal employment does not qualify. Please check with your employer if they paid unemployment taxes and if they did, you will qualify.

  2. I was recently laid off. The company I worked for is in California but I reside in another state and work remotely and travel to California occasionally. Do I file for CA unemployment?

  3. My job pays hourly + commission but the commission has not been good for the past 3 paychecks and now it will get worse due to the holidays. Can I apply for unemployment? I work full-time ….approximately 73 – 75 hours per week. I depend on the commission to pay bills & survive. I suffer from depression & anxiety and this is worsening it. Look forward to your response. Thank you.

    1. Adeline,

      I can understand your situation. Generally, contract employment does not qualify. Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state for clarification.

  4. Hi,I live in California, I’ve been unemployed since late April and claimed for benefits which began in late May. My benefit claim amount is down to one last payment but I’m still looking for work. Is it possible to file for an extension in California? If so, how do I do it? I’m worried that I will have no income after my claim benefit runs out after this last EDD payment

    1. 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.

  5. I was given a severance package back in September 2016 when my job was eliminated. At the time I didn’t realize I qualified for unemployment benefits. I did apply for EDD benefits in March 2017, my claim has exhausted and I would like to file an extension, considering I worked over 18 years with former employer. Can I use my bi-weekly severance pay as wages to qualify for an extension?

    1. 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.

  6. I was let go from my part-time job of three years. I was reprimanded for my attendance and tardiness issues and was given my final write up at the beginning of 2017. I was having famliy problems at home and was in the middle of a separation. I did inform my supervisor of my family situation and was not offered or aware that the company offers assistance to employee’s in need with separations, illness, and foreclosures. I was late for my shift due to a error in schedule and I was let go on the spot due to the last written warning of attendance. Can I still be eligible for unemployment benefits? Thank you in advance.

    1. Louie,

      I can understand your situation.Unfortunately, personal reasons are generally not considered. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  7. I was doing work for 2 other part time jobs I have at my full time job and my boss found out and told me I had to work regular hours from 8:30 to 5 as everyone else so that I could be supervised. I haven’t shown up for work for 3 days but have worked for him for 18 months. I wasn’t fired, but I can’t work those hours. I can file unemployment, right?

    1. This is for Tina Privat-July 2017 – Sorry Sam but your responses even confused me!!

      To qualify for unemployment, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. If you quit your job voluntarily, without good cause, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if you are forced out and/or have good cause to quit, you may still be eligible for benefits, depending on the circumstances.

      In California, good cause to quit exists when a substantial motivating factor in the employee’s decision to quit was a real, substantial, and compelling reason (work-related or personal), which would cause a reasonable person who genuinely desired to continue working to leave the job under the same circumstances. Whether an employee has good cause to quit under this definition is determined on a case-by-case basis.

      So long story short – Yes, you need to file; it will probably be denied, but you MUST file for an appeal where a 3rd party judge will be the one that will decide if you had Good Cause. Don’t be afraid, it is a very friendly process and you just need to explain your situation. Good Luck!

  8. I am still unemployed and can not reapply for unemployment at this time I am just wondering why, I only received half and calling the office is just awful every one is busy and the computer hangs up on you why can’t I leave a message so someone can contact me. How do other people do it.

    1. Margaret,

      I can understand your frustration. UI benefits are only disbursed as a one-cycle payment. Please provide details surrounding your previous claim.

  9. I am 63 years old and have been unemployed for several years, I lost just about everything and I was homeless. I am a union sheet metal worker and finally in April 2016 I got a job in San Jose and finally things started getting better I was able to rent a room, and start getting my life back together, I was laid off Dec 1,2016 due to a reduction of forces. I applied for unemployment, and since I was making very good money, I assumed that I would be getting the max amount, after 3 weeks I got a letter telling me my claim was accepted a payment was put into my account, and a claim form that I signed and sent back to EDD, there was no mention as to how much I was getting. The next week I got another claim form and this time it showed how much I was getting, $55 per week, it seems as though this is a little short of what I believe I should be getting by about $395 per week, needless to say I am slightly disappointed, I have been trying to contact EDD but my computer skills are the shits, so if this all I am entitled to I can’t afford my rent again so it looks like I am homeless again, can’t pay my storage fee’s after another month so I will be losing all of my possessions. It seems as though my EDD award was based on the money that I earned in 2014, where I worked for a contractor for about one and a half weeks when I was injured and was unable to work, I wasn’t even aware that I was eligible to collect until about a year later, when I had to go to the hospital I was told that I could collect $55 per week, I didn’t even apply since it was such a small amount, so now after working for seven months, this is all that I am getting, this doesn’t even cover my gasoline bill, it just doesn’t seem right that my claim would be based on the amount I worked for 1 1/2 weeks, that was two years ago

    1. Stephen,

      I can understand your situation. You can also consider the option of visiting an Unemployment Office in the vicinity or call the Claims Center for assistance if you’re uncomfortable filing over the internet.

  10. I have worked for this company for 8 years, they just told me they are making me a part time employee and will be used when work is available. They gave me no schedule for when I would be used. Can I file for unemployment?

    1. If the reduction to part-time was voluntary, you may not qualify.

      I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  11. I was just laid off by my employer and will be eligible for benefits on January 15. Can I Uber and collect unemployment benefits at the same time?

    1. Unemployment Benefits are extended to those who’re completely jobless.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm if you can drive with Uber and claim.

    1. If you were laid off due to no fault of your own, you can be eligible to draw UI benefits.

      As a ground rule, you should have sufficient employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  12. if I am currently working full time and I and receiving my social security because I am 62 and I get laid off can I still get unemployment benefits?

    1. Most of the states allow the provision of both UI and SS simultaneously as long you’re able and available for work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  13. My employer changed me from salaried employee of five years to an “independent contractor” in January, but is – next month – offering me unacceptible contracts. Can I file for unemployment under these circumstances (and eight months after losing my official employment status)?


    1. Contracted workers are generally not eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance.

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

  14. hello i was under unemploye benefits for the pas 4 months ,
    i recently got a job but am under the trail period .
    and is base on comision , i continue apply for my benefits still for one more month i did not know i have to stop appling for my benefits , how can i repay the UI department this is my 1st time and i do not want to get in trouble .
    what can i do ! thank you .

    1. Please call the Unemployment Office to let them know that you’ve got a temporary job.

      If you stop applying, it can be an indication too. It’s better you notify them in this case.

  15. I have a PT who wants to apply for disability when she delivers her baby, she is pad cash does not have pay stubs, would she be able to apply?

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

  16. I was on paid sick leave from May 2015 – January 2016. I returned to work in February 2016 and will be laid-off on July 17, 2016. Can I apply for unemployment? Does one have to work 5 continuous quarters prior to lay-off? I was consistently employed for 39 years prior to the medical leave in the state of California. Thank you.

    1. Five quarters does not means continuous work.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

  17. I been living in California for a little bit more than a year already. I was working for a company for almost a year and I got let go because I missed on day and it was extremely busy that day and lot of people missed.

    1. Generally, voluntary reasons such as performance issues are not considered.

      Please check on your eligibility by calling the Labor authorities in your state.

  18. My hours are reduced to part time in marhc, then 1day each next two weeks. I planned for a vacation in two weeks which was approved over 6month ago. I cannot go look for a job now since I have to go off for 3 weeks which is to see my aging mother who I havent seen for two years. Can I apply for UI now or when I’m back? Thank you.

      1. Thank you for the response, Martin. I ve actually been trying to reach them, but nobody is ever available to talk. Is there a email contact or other method to reach them? Thank you, again!

  19. I had applied for unemployment back on March 4th 2016 it’s been two weeks and I have not heard a thing. What can I do?

  20. I have been on state disability for the last 12 months… I am now released for work but my position is no longer available, Can I receive unemployment if I haven’t worked the past year?

  21. My company in so cal filed chapter 11, im veing furloughed 4 days a month , and am told i mught lose my 213 hrs vacation i accrued.ive been there 15 years, if i quit now befor chapter 7 or buy out so i can get my vacation can i still file for unemployment benifits

  22. ive worked for this company for almost 2 yrs and someone bought us out we still have one restruant and I don’t get the hours or salary like I did from the little restraunt can I applu for unemployment

  23. the company I worked for 17 years told me I was no longer a employee but a sub-contractor and I worked for a while nothing changed expect no benefits can I draw unemployment benefits in the state of calif.

    1. Please note, contracted employees generally do not qualify for Unemployment Insurance.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  24. Has anyone file an Arizona weekly claim by the internet while being in california before? I Will be out of state for couple days and want to know if there could be issues if I do so, since I’ve had this experience before where I had to be out of the country for a weekend,(visiting the dentist) and thought there was no problem if i filed my claim while been out and oh surprise, i didn’t received payment from that week and received a letter asking a bunch of questions, if I had move out the U.S and if I planned to come back, etc. Had to return it with my answers and finally my payments where delayed until that issue was solved.

    1. If you’ve had any issues filing online, please contact the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

      Some links do not work outside the country.

  25. If my benefit were delayed for 5 weeks for not filing 2 continued claim forms properly in a past claim. Q. will benefits for the claiming weeks while on suspension be awarded all at once. On completion of suspension.

  26. Hi There:
    I was working in Williston and I got lay of , now I’m leaving in los angeles . Can I applied for unemployment in los angeles ?

  27. I used to live and work in the state of Arizona, got laid of and now I am living in California. Can I apply for unemployment in CA for the last trimester I work in AZ?

    1. You can consider filing for unemployment insurance. Each state administers an exclusive scheme called the “UCX” for unemployed military men.

      Eligibility depends on multiple factors.

  28. I was trying to find out if I could collect unemployment after being laid off.I had workers comp injury 3 years. I have been cleared to return to work. I had 2 back surgery’s now I am cleared, no restrictions.

    1. If you’re now able and available to work, please consider applying for unemployment insurance as long as you’re scouting for jobs.

  29. Hello..I am collecting unemployment benefits in California since January 2014.It will run out this mid.September..Are there any federal extentions ?

  30. I had to quit my job because I am not able to perform the job duties due to physical problems with my back and leg. I have been there 5 1/2 years. Can I qualify for unemployment? I was on temp disabilty but that has stopped due to my doctors not doing their work in a timely manner.

    Thank you

  31. Can a person on unemployment relocate to another state and look for another job and still collect california unemployment by putting in a change of address?

    1. I guess that should not be an issue.

      Please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state to confirm.

    2. I have applied for UI benefits after relocating to MA from CA. How can I check my application status and why can’t I talk with a human being?

      Not all web sites are intuitive in finding what you need and clearly I’m missing the application status button. MA has a system where you login to your established account. Where is CA’s?

  32. I work in AZ but im a recident from CA. I pay taxes from CA and AZ, they told us that we have one more month of work and im going back to CA, can i get my unemployment from CA?

  33. I am on partial unemployment in calif. because my co. reduced me from 40 hrs to very part-time hrs. My co. decided not to give me anjy hrs for 3 and one half weeks so I quite on april 24th 2014. What happens now, How do I notify unemployment that i quit and have them review my claim. You cannot get through on the phone Anymore. E-mail does not respond to this type of question.I have received money for the 2 weeks after I quit and it might be over-payment.

    1. Please get online and access your account if you filed online.

      Otherwise, see if you can register online for ease of managing your claim.

  34. I’m in California. Original claim ran from 04/13 thru 04/14. Received 26 wks. tier 1 of extension, like all cut off end of 12/13. At one year of original filing received de429l invalid claim for 04/06/14 & received de429z notice of award with new claim year 04/14 thru 04/15 with award amounts and April & June quarters with my earning that where used. Info includes what forms will be arriving, weekly claim forms and info to register at cal jobs. Confused because both forms arrived within two days of each other. Is award notice valid? Can’t reach anyone by phone at edd. Should I just wait to see if claim forms arrive or send in appeal form that came with de429l invalid claim?
    Thanks for any info you can help with.

    1. Strange. If you filed online,please see if you can get an update on status.

      Continue trying the customer service at the EDD as they would have the latest and most accurate information.

  35. My company was just sold and I had to reapply and was not hired, I worked for the previous company for just about 2yrs, can I apply for EDD? Am I eligible? and how would I file?

    Thank You.

    1. If there is a provision to notify disability or any such conditions on the form,please go ahead and be transparent. For specific questions,please call up the Claims/customer service center of the Labor department in CA.

  36. I ve been laid off. I have worked for the company for 16 months which have paid into unemployment benefits. I have also worked off and on at another job which did not pay into benefits Does this change or disrupt in any way for filing or collecting benefits in ca.

  37. I quit my self employed job to take a seasonal waitress job in May 2013 through Oct 2013.
    The calculator estimated I didn’t make enough in qualifying period to receive benefits. It said contact a rep which I have tried for 2 weeks. Is there a way to use my income from July-Oct? Or should I wait until January to apply when there will be a bigger quarter? How can I talk to a person for help?

  38. If I retire from one company and go to work for another company,
    full time, it is a temporary job for 3-1/2 months, will I be able to file for unemployement after the new job is finished?

  39. I am trying to find the year I last received unemployment . My Cell number is 951 880-8313. Or you can notify me by email. Thank you

  40. I am following up on my Claim,
    1st week (08/25)(08/31)
    2nd week (09/01)(09/07)

    I mailed it in (09/08/2013)I thought I would have seen something…Is it there?
    Dale G. Ferguson
    24011 Juaneno Dr Mission Viejo Dr. 92691
    cell (949)326-8632

  41. Are extensions still being offered? My regular UI benefits will run out on December 31. Given that companies typically stop hiring for full time employment the last 2 months of the year that realistically gives me only 2 1/2 months to find a job.

    When I had my phone interview with the EDD representative last month I asked her how I would go about filing for an extension in the event I had not found a job yet and had exhausted my regular UI benefits. She told me that due to budget cuts they were not offering anymore extensions and that my only recourse would be to go to the county for assistance.

    But, when I look at the info on the CA UI benefits on this site it says the maximum is 65 weeks which infers that there are extensions still being offered.

    Can you please clear up my confusion?

    1. Extensions are determined by the unemployment level in each state – one state might offer extensions and another may not. You could google the topic for your state and perhaps get an idea if there is any chance of an extension in the future. That is not to say the information given by the representative is unreliable – they give the information they have at that time.

  42. I never received my packet in the mail . I filed a claim over the phone and no packet came in the mail! The representative said it would be here in 10 days! It is not! Tried to call 7/29 u were closed and tried first thing this morning to heavy calls coming in!

  43. i recently quit my job to reloate to southern california from central california becausd spouse job is in so .cal we were having diffuculty paying 2 rents and managing to households can i collect unemployment til i find a job..

  44. I do currently have a job but have a 6 month old that I’m unable to have an affordable babysitter. If I quit due to me having to take care of my baby could I collect some kind of unemployment?

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