California Unemployment Guide



Where to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

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Coronavirus Unemployment Updates

As part of the federal CARES Act, the federal government has approved funding for additional UI benefits to workers impacted by COVID 19, including the self-employed. The EDD has received only overarching information from the U.S. Department of Labor but needs further details to finish building the programming for implementing these changes.

Visit this page for more details on these provisions as they become available: the additional $600 on top of the current weekly benefit amount, a new 13-week extension of benefits paid for by the federal government when someone exhausts their regular UI claim, and a brand new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which will help the self-employed. The EDD is working quickly with state partners to set up this new program as we await final guidance from the federal government.

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The additional relief money approved by Congress means California’s average weekly benefit of $340 will be boosted to $940, while those who get the maximum weekly state benefit will see checks increased to $1,050. The higher benefits will last for four months.

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Coronavirus: California unemployment agency to increase hours

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Unemployment benefits in California to jump $600 a week Sunday

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California independent contractors can apply for unemployment in 2 weeks, top labor official says

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Coronavirus: Day one of $600 extra California unemployment payments tops $300 million

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California expands EDD call center hours to meet soaring demand amid record unemployment levels

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) FAQs

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Tips on calling EDD:

They are only open 8am-12pm. I would start calling them and follow the prompts and press 1, 6, 7, 2 after the pre-recorded message to get a person. Plan on making up to 40 calls or more to get through. There is a Contact Us option, however most of it is simply info not an email exchange option.

Step-by-step chart for what to expect through the course of your claim for receiving benefit payments

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When will I receive my first check?

Applicants should receive their first check within three weeks of filing for unemployment insurance.

Earlier this month, Newsom also waived the first week waiting period. People will receive a full two weeks of benefits on their first check, as opposed to one week.

What if my check takes longer?

EDD said people with inconsistencies may take longer than three weeks to receive their first check.

Some examples include: the information submitted does not match wage records, a worker’s identity cannot be verified or a worker was misclassified by their employer.

How much will I receive?

Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week, according to EDD. There is an unemployment insurance calculator to estimate your benefits.

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What benefits are Californians eligible for if they’ve been laid off or lost hours because of Covid-19?

Those workers can apply for unemployment insurance through the Employment Development Department (E.D.D.), which has waived the usual one-week waiting period. That means workers who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the coronavirus should be able to receive benefits starting the first day of lost hours or work, though given the volume of claims it will likely take at least two to three weeks to receive your benefits.

To get benefits, you must meet certain minimum requirements. If your claim is approved, you can receive between $40 and $450 each week, depending on your earnings. Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27, you may be able to receive an additional $600 per week, on top of the regular benefit amount, through the end of July. And unemployment insurance benefits will be extended for up to 39 weeks.

According to guidance from the E.D.D. as of March 19, if you are temporarily out of work and plan to return to the same employer, you do not need to meet the usual requirement of looking for work while you are collecting unemployment insurance. However, if you are not attached to a particular employer with a job to return to, you are required to look for work while collecting benefits. You can do that from home, for example, by searching for jobs online.

Under the CARES Act, independent contractors may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance as well as the additional $600 per week.

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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.