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A Detailed Guide To $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits In California

Updated : September 10th, 2020

The Employment Development Department (EDD) received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer $300 extra unemployment benefits in California. The additional benefits are a part of a new executive order signed by President Donald Trump.  

So when will the EDD start giving out the additional benefits to Californians? This article will break it down for you! 

When Will EDD Begin Paying Extra Benefits?

Ever since the Employment Development Department received FEMA approval under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, it has begun working on the technology requirements required to pay the beneficiaries. 

The EDD stated, “The Department will begin processing LWA payments in two phases for qualified individuals in the week beginning September 7, 2020.” Eligible claimants will receive their weekly Lost Wages Assistance benefit amount retroactive to August 1 for their qualifying weeks. Who Qualifies For Extra $300 Unemployment Benefits In California?

To receive payments under the LWA program, one should meet EDD-listed eligibility criteria. They include:

1. Should be currently receiving or be eligible to receive at least $100 per week through regular unemployment benefits or other federal programs

2. Have submitted a self-certification that proves he or she is fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic

Note – The minimum $100 eligibility requirement is part of the President’s new executive order, and the state is required to strictly distribute the funds according to FEMA rules.

How Will EDD Process The Payments?

The Employment Development Department will begin processing LWA payments to eligible individuals in two phases.

Phase 1

The first phase will cover claimants who have previously notified the Department that they are fully unemployed or partially unemployed due to the direct result of the pandemic. This holds good for all claimants, i.e., those qualifying for the regular or traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The amount will be added to the traditional unemployment payments for eligible weeks. 

Phase 2

The second phase will cover all claimants who did not indicate that they were fully or partially unemployed directly due to the pandemic in their initial application. The Department will send the Lost Wages Assistance Self-Certification notice through mail. 

The notice is time-sensitive, and therefore the eligible claimant should provide the required information through UI online at the earliest, failing to which he or she might not receive LWA payments.

Note – The Department allows online UI registration through which one can receive prompt notifications and faster service. If an applicant is not eligible, the Department will send a Determination Notice for the Lost Wages Assistance program. 

How To Apply For The $300 Extra Unemployment Benefits In California?

One need not apply separately for $300 additional unemployment benefits in California. Similar to $600 weekly benefits, the Department will automatically pay the LWA amount to the qualified people.

The Employment Development Department stated, “If one has indicated that they are fully or partially unemployed due to the direct results of the pandemic in their initial unemployment claim, whether it was traditional UI or PUA, they will automatically receive LWA payments, and no further action is required.”

Those who did not produce self-certification in their initial unemployment claims will be required to provide it to receive the $300 additional payments.

How Long Will The Benefits Last In California?

The Employment Development Department stated, “The Lost Wages Assistance supplemental $300 weekly payment will be available only for a limited period, a minimum of 3 weeks.”

The timeline is based on the initial funding the state received for the program. FEMA approved about $4.5 billion payment for the time being and may provide additional funding going forward.

How To Appeal Unemployment In California?

Despite meeting the eligibility requirement, if your claim is denied or reduced, you can file an unemployment benefits appeal with EDD. 

Submit your appeal within 30 days following the mailing date of the Notice of Determination. You can either use the copy of the appeal form attached with your Notice of Determination or download the form, complete it, and mail to the return address mentioned on the decision notice.

But if you don’t have a copy of the form, or cannot print it, write a letter to the Department to notify that you want to appeal the decision to deny or reduce your benefits. If you chose to appeal in writing, make sure you provide all the necessary information like:

  • Full name 
  • Social Security Number 
  • Your address 
  • Phone number 
  • Reason for appeal
  • The date of the decision

What Happens After You File An Appeal?

On submitting the appeal form, the Office of Appeals will review it and notify the hearing location and time at least 10 days in advance. Meanwhile, collect all the proof and gather documents that support your argument. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hold the hearing and give you a chance to present your evidence. The ALJ will further review them and announce the verdict.

If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Note that you must appeal within 30 calendar days from the ALJ’s decision date.

While appealing, provide the following details:

  • Full name
  • Your address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • The appeal case number associated with the ALJ’s decision

Mail the appeal to the address mentioned in the ALJ’s decision letter. The Appeals Board will confirm the appeal’s receipt and notify you of the available procedural options.

Following this, you have to present your arguments (oral or written) and new evidence (if any) within 10 days from the date of the confirmation letter. The acceptance of the new evidence is at the Board’s discretion.

The Appeals Board will issue a decision. If you disagree with its decision, you can file a Writ of Mandate to the Superior Court within 6 months from the Appeals Board’s decision date.

Continue to apply for benefits while appealing. If you are found eligible, you get paid for those weeks, provided you have met all eligibility requirements.

Note – If you live outside the state, your hearing will be conducted by phone.

Final Words 

The EDD is taking all possible steps to provide the additional $300 to the qualified Californians without any hurdle. The state is also providing extended unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their benefits under the regular UI benefits program. This means if you have exhausted all your regular benefits, you can receive extended benefits in addition to this $300 amount. 


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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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