Unemployment Benefits in California
If you’ve lost your job, there’s no need to freak out. The state of California has established many benefits for everyone that is unemployed. In this article, I will explain how you can get back on your feet and smoothly transition into your next job.
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
This program, administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD), provides partial wage replacement to all unemployed workers while they are conducting a search for a new job. While on unemployment insurance you receive weekly payments that
cover expenses for food, mortgage, clothing, schooling costs, etc. The program is financed by employers who pay unemployment insurance tax contributions.
In order to be eligible for UI you must be:
- Out of work due to no fault of your own
To be eligible you must have been fired or laid off from your job. If you resigned or quit, you will probably not be eligible for UI benefits, unless you convince the EDD otherwise.
- Physically able to do work
If you are not able to work due to a work related illness/injury then you should file a workers compensation claim, because you are not eligible for UI benefits. However, if you are not physically unable to do work due to a medical condition you contracted during pregnancy or birth you must apply to State Disability Insurance (SDI). This program offers short term benefits to workers.
- Actively looking for a job and ready to accept a job
You must be looking for work and ready to accept work in order to qualify for the UI program.
How to Apply for UI
When applying, you should apply as quickly as possible after you were terminated. To apply, you must submit an application to the EDD, either online here or by phone. For instructions in English call: (800)300-5616, or for instructions in Espanol call: (800)326-8937. It should take 30 minutes, more or less, to complete the online application.
In two weeks or less, the EDD will contact you and your employer to collect more information. Then, the EDD will issue and mail a Notice of Determination and ruling to you and your employer. Finally, if you are accepted you will have to wait several weeks before you begin receiving
If you are rejected, you can appeal. To appeal you must mail your appeal within 20 days of the Notice of Determination and ruling was mailed. The Office of Appeals will then set a hearing, notifying you and your employer 10 days in advance. The hearings are usually informal and most likely, you will not need a lawyer. The hearings should last no longer than an hour and shortly after, the Administrative Law Judge that was present for the hearing, will issue a written decision. If you disagree with their decision, you can appeal by filing a “Writ of Mandate” with the Supreme Court within 6 months after the Appeals Board’s written decision was mailed out.
For more information visit: www.edd.ca.gov/uirep/uifa.htm