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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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