How To Apply For Unemployment In California

The State of California handles unemployment claims through their Employment Development Department. To be eligible for unemployment in California, you must be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own, physically able to work, and available for employment if offered. You also need to be actively looking for new work. Guidelines and resources for filing an unemployment claim can be accessed below:

To be eligible, you must be able to establish a base period of twelve weeks employment at your most recent employer and twelve months employment history prior to your unemployment claim. Minimum earnings requirement is $1300 for the highest quarter in the base period.

Payment Amounts and Frequency

Unemployment benefits payments in California range from $45 to $450 per week, based on the income calculated when establishing your base period. Payments are made weekly and claims must be submitted by Sunday night to receive payment that week. You can learn more about payments by viewing the brochure “How Unemployment Insurance Benefits are Computed.”

To continue receiving weekly benefits, you’ll need to file a bi-weekly certification to confirm your employment status. Part of this certification is to provide proof that you’re actually looking for work, so keep accurate contact records for any companies you apply with. The Employment Development Department may choose to contact them to verify your activity.

California Training Benefits (CTB)

The State of California will pay you unemployment benefits while you’re attending a job training program to make you more employable. If you’re planning on attending such a program, inform EDD of your interest when you file your initial claim. That could make you eligible for a training extension (TE) after sixteen weeks on regular payments. Check out some of the resources below for more details on CTB qualified programs:

Unemployment benefits payments from the Employment Development Department do not include tuition reimbursement, books, lodging, or travel expenses. Involvement in the California Training Benefits program does not increase your payments. It only extends them.

Closing and Re-Opening Unemployment Insurance Claims

An open unemployment insurance claim will automatically close when you fail to re-certify on your bi-weekly cycle. If you’re re-employed or find new employment, do NOT file for a payment after you start the new job. Collecting an unemployment insurance payment under false pretenses is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. To learn more about unemployment fraud and penalties, visit the page “Fraud and Penalties: What You Need to Know.“

If you find yourself unemployed again after going back to work, you can re-open your claim any time within 52 weeks of when the initial claim was filed. You can do this by logging into Benefit Programs Online and selecting “Re-Open Claim.” You’ll be asked a series of questions to determine your eligibility and provided a confirmation if your claim is re-opened. Once you receive that confirmation, you’ll start receiving payments that week.

California Unemployment Insurance Program

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