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A Detailed Guide To Unemployment Benefits In California

Updated : September 10th, 2020

Californians who have lost their job or had their work hours reduced due to the direct result of the pandemic can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. According to the reports of California Employment Development Department (EDD), the authorities have processed about 6.7 claims and paid about $33.5 billion in unemployment benefits in California since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Unemployment Benefits In California And The CARES Act

Generally, the regular unemployment benefits in California last for 26 weeks, but Californians can receive payment for an additional 13 weeks under the CARES Act. The Act also provides benefits to the otherwise ineligible self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, or independent contractors. 

Extended Unemployment Benefits In California

The Employment Development Department is looking to provide a separate extension of traditional unemployment benefits. The program would be the Federal-State Extended Duration benefits program and will be known as the FED-ED program. It would provide benefits for at least an additional 13 weeks. 

Under this program, benefits will be provided to Californians who are struggling to go back to their job and have a prolonged duration of unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Who Qualifies For FED-ED Program?

To receive benefits under the FED-ED program, Californians should meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them include:

  • Should exhaust benefits received under the regular Unemployment Insurance program
  • Must run out of benefits received under the Federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program
  • Should be capable, available, and actively seeking to take up any job
  • Should submit work search documents

More details about this program are expected to be out in a couple of weeks.

Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits If You Return To Your Work?

As businesses begin to reopen, some employers may require their employees to return to work. If you return to full-time employment, you cannot collect unemployment benefits. But if the work hours are reduced, or you are furloughed again, you can apply for UI benefits. 

To apply for benefits, you should certify the number of hours worked each week and report income in the week in which it was earned. All these details must be reported on a bi-weekly certification form. If approved, you can collect payment for up to 26 weeks.

Note that the amount earned will be deducted from unemployment benefits. For instance, if you earned $200 in a week. The EDD may not count $50 and may deduct $150 from your regular unemployment insurance. So if you are expected to receive a $430 payment for that week, after deductions, you may get $280. 

The same rule applies to the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig workers. The only difference is that they have to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and not regular unemployment benefits.

Filing For Unemployment Benefits In California

You can apply for unemployment benefits in California  either online,  by fax or mail, or the phone. To file online, visit the EDD website, log in to your account if you have one, and enter details asked for. If you don’t have an account, first register and then log in. 

To file by fax or mail, access the paper unemployment application on the EDD website and mail it to the mailing address mentioned on the form. You can also call representatives at the toll-free number mentioned in the EDD website and file a claim. 

What Happens After Filing An Unemployment Claim?

If you are a recent online applicant, you will receive a mail from the EDD confirming your registration. But if you haven’t filed unemployment for many years, you may not receive a mail, but a letter with an EDD Customer Account Number using which you can complete the set-up of the EDD unemployment claims account and file weekly claims. 

Final word

Due to the surge in unemployment applications, the EDD may sometimes take time to process your application. Therefore, don’t panic if you haven’t received any mail from the EDD. Stay patient while the authorities process your form. For more details, you can always contact authorities at the EDD. 

 

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  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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