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All About FED-ED Extended Unemployment Benefits In California

Updated : August 31st, 2020

California is one of the states that are the worst affected by the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown. Though the businesses have reopened, the golden state is still receiving a huge number of unemployment claims. As per the Department Of Labor (DOL) reports, about 228,500 people filed initial unemployment benefits in California during the week that ended on August 1. 

Normally, in California, the unemployed can receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. However, since millions of Californians rely solely on UI benefits to meet their needs during the crisis, the state has extended them.

In this article, let us look at the extended benefits in California and who qualifies for it.

More About FED-ED Extended Unemployment Benefits In California 

As stated earlier, California’s unemployment benefits last for 26 weeks, after which the unemployed people cannot receive benefits from the state. However, due to the crisis, the Employment Development Department (EDD) announced the rollout of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program under the CARES Act.

This financial aid program provides Unemployment Insurance benefits to qualified people for an additional 13 weeks. The extended unemployment benefits are part of the Federal-State Extended Duration benefits program, which the Employment Development Department regards as FED-ED. 

The Federal-State Extended Duration benefits program becomes available during prolonged periods of unemployment or when the unemployment rate is high. The program is typically 50% funded by federal funds and 50% by the states’ UI Trust Fund, including taxes paid by employers on their workers’ wages.

Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 103, a part of the state’s budget package. Under AB 103, the state can maximize federal support during times of high unemployment. 

The support includes the provision of 7 extra weeks of regular UI to the PEUC extended unemployment benefits and 7 extra weeks to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. This means the unemployed Californians can receive 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits and 7 additional weeks of benefits under the PUA program.

The additional weeks under FED-ED are completely funded by the federal government. This saves an estimated $7 billion of the state’s UI Trust Fund and provides tax relief to employers.

Eligibility Criteria For FED-ED Extended Unemployment Benefits In California 

The Employment Development Department has a set of eligibility criteria that one should meet to qualify for the extended unemployment benefits. Some of them include:

  • The individual must have a regular unemployment claim that began on or after May 19, 2019
  • The individual must have exhausted benefits received under the regular unemployment benefits and PEUC
  • The individual’s claim must be expired  
  • The individual is not eligible for any unemployment benefits in any other state
  • The individual has earned more than 1.5 times his or her highest quarter earnings or 40 times more than the weekly benefit amount in his or her base period

How To File For A FED-ED Program?

If one is currently receiving benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, he or she need not apply for the FED-ED program. Instead, the Department will automatically check if the individual qualifies and enroll him or her in the program. 

The steps involved in the process are:

Step 1 – The Department will identify those receiving benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. It will automatically file for FED-ED extension, provided the individual has collected all PEUC benefits, or the PEUC program ends, December 31, 2020, and the FED-ED benefits are still available. 

Step 2  – After filing for an extension, the Department will mail a Letter of Determination for FED-ED Extension within 5-7 days. The letter will include the eligibility requirements, the effective date of the extension, and potential benefit amounts. 

Step 3 – The individual will then have to complete the bi-weekly certifications that determine eligibility for ongoing benefits.

What Amount of Benefits Can One Receive Under The FED-ED Program?

Benefits received under the FED-ED extension will be the same as the weekly benefit amount one receives under the regular UI claim. And the maximum benefit amount will depend on the individual’s last regular UI claim. However, the maximum benefit payment will be the lesser of either:

  • 13 times the weekly benefit payment
  • 50% of the maximum benefit amount of the regular UI claim.

For instance, consider that an individual has received $400 a weekly benefit amount and $800 a maximum benefit amount as the last regular UI claim and has exhausted the maximum benefit amount. Then the FED-ED benefit amount will be calculated as follows: 

  • Calculation 1- 13 X $400 = $5,200
  • Calculation 2 – 50% of $8,800 = $4,400

Here, the individual will receive $4,400 because the result of calculation 1 is greater than 2. 

Note – The Department will pay the benefits in the same method used to pay the regular UI claim. 

What To Do If One Doesn’t Qualify For FED-ED?

The Department will review the claim and send a Determination Letter for Federal-State Extended Duration Benefits within 5-7 days. The letter includes the reason for not qualifying for FED-ED. It also includes details on how to apply for an unemployment appeal if he or she does not agree with the state’s decision.

EDD may also reopen a PUA claim if the individual had a PUA claim in the past. And for those who don’t have a PUA claim, the Department will proactively open a claim. 

After opening or reopening a claim, EDD will send an Immediate Action Required – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Self-Certification notice. The individual should attest that he or she meets PUA eligibility requirements like,

  • The individual is fully unemployed, partially unemployed 
  • The individual is unable or unavailable to take up a job due to any of the federally recognized Coronavirus reasons

Note – The notice must be completed and returned within 10 days, failing to which the PUA benefits may be delayed or denied. 

Final Thoughts 

The FED-ED extension is indeed a great step taken by the Employment Development Department to help unemployed Californians. The program is expected to help millions of unemployed to meet their basic needs during the crisis.

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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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