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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. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

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

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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