How to file an unemployment claim in California
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides all unemployed Californians with unemployment insurance to help pay bills while they are seeking new jobs.
Am I eligible for California unemployment benefits?
In order to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in California, you must fit the following criteria:
- Out of work due to no fault of their own.
- Physically able to work.
- Actively seeking work.
- Ready to accept work.
If you match these criteria, you may file for California unemployment benefits immediately upon becoming unemployed.
What are the CA Unemployment Benefits?
California unemployment insurance can provide unemployment payments of up to $450 a week for 12-26 weeks based on your situation and previous wages, with extensions available for up to 79 weeks total unemployment benefits. Benefit payments come exclusively as an unemployment check.
Filing for Unemployment Payments in California
Before you can file for unemployment, you need to gather information that you will need on your unemployment application as well as to prove your eligibility for unemployment. The California Employment Development Department recommends you have the following ready when you apply for California unemployment benefits:
- Your name (including all names you used while working) and social security account number.
- Your mailing and residence address (including ZIP code) and telephone number (including area code).
- Your state issued driver’s license or ID card number, if you have either.
- The last date you worked for any employer. If you are working part-time be sure to announce that you are still working, and provide the number of hours you are working each week, as well as the last day you worked prior to filing an unemployment insurance claim.
- Last employer information, including: name, address (mailing and physical location) and telephone number. You must also provide the ZIP code for both addresses (mailing and physical location) and the area code for your last employer’s telephone number.
Be specific about the spelling of the employer’s name and make sure the address is correct, as the Unemployment Office will mail a notice to that employer. An incorrect address will delay benefit payments.
- Information on all employers you worked for during the 18 months prior to filing your claim, including: name, period of employment, wages earned and how you were paid.
- The name of the employer you worked for the longest within the last year and a half; and the number of years you worked for that employer. This may or may not be the same as your last employer.
- The reason you are no longer working for your last employer. You may have quit, been laid off, fired, or left work because of a trade dispute. Be specific about the reason you are not working because the information you give to us must be sent to your last employer. If you quit, were fired, or left work because of a trade dispute, you will be scheduled to a future telephone interview. The information obtained during the interview will help the California Unemployment Office decide if you are eligible to receive benefits.
- Whether you are receiving, or expect to receive any payments from a former employer. We ask about this because some types of payments may be deducted from your benefits. A few examples of payments that may be deducted include wages, pension payments, holiday pay, and vacation or sick pay. Severance pay is not deducted from unemployment insurance benefits and does not affect your eligibility to receive benefits. However, you must report severance pay at the time you file your unemployment insurance claim.
- Whether you are able to work and available to accept work.
- Whether you have a legal right to work in the United States. You may need to present your Alien Identification Number if applicable..
CA Unemployment Office Phone Numbers
California provides several options for both applying for unemployment and checking on the status of your UI benefits over the phone. You can use the following unemployment office numbers:
Check information & Career Center: 1-866-333-4606
Apply for Unemployment Phone Number: 1-800-300-5616
Apply for California Unemployment Insurance
In addition to applying for CA unemployment benefits online, you can file a paper application at your nearest unemployment office or apply for benefits online.
CA Online Unemployment Application: https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/htm/cpgInstructions.htm
Printable Unemployment Application: https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/default.htm?target=paper
Filing a California Unemployment Appeal
If your application for unemployment benefits is denied by California, you can submit an appeal for reconsideration using the unemployment appeal form located at http://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de1000m.pdf.
Filing California Unemployment Claims and Unemployment Extensions
If you have already applied for and received unemployment compensation through California, you can file your claim for benefits by calling the EDD at their number listed above or filling in an online unemployment claim through California’s eApply4UI portal.
If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits and still have not found full-time work, you can request an extension for your CA unemployment insurance benefits by contacting the EDD or submitting an extension request online at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/.
California Unemployment Benefits Calculator
You can calculate your unemployment benefits using the Unemployment Insurance Benefit Table available as a PDF through the EDD: http://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de1101bt5.pdf