In California, you must contact the Employment Development Department (EDD) in order to submit an application for unemployment insurance (UI). The EDD provides various employment services, which are offered in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.
Eligibility & Benefits
You must meet a number of eligibility requirements to apply for UI; you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. Additionally, you must be ready to work and available to take on any suitable offer of employment that is provided to you by the EDD. At the same time, you must be actively seeking employment.
Before you can apply for UI, you must also meet the monetary eligibility requirement, which is typically calculated based on your earnings from a specific period of 12 months. This period is known as the “base period,” and it is determined by taking the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters prior to the date that your claim becomes effective. For instance, you must have earned approximately $11,674 in total wages during your base period in order to qualify for the maximum amount of UI. However, you can still qualify for UI if you have not earned enough wages during your base period. In this case, you can use an “alternate base period, which is determined by taking the last four completed quarters prior to the date you’re your claim would become effective. Moreover, the amount you can receive weekly is determined based on the highest amount of wages that you earned in one quarter. In California, the minimum amount of benefits you can receive is $40 per week, and the maximum is $450 per week. Similarly, the number of weeks that you can receive UI will also depend on your earnings from your base period. You can benefit from UI for a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks. The payments can be sent to you by U.S. mail, or you can choose to receive the payments through direct deposit.
How to File a Claim
To apply for unemployment insurance, all you need to do is contact the EDD by telephone at 1-866-333-4606. Through an automated telephone service, you can submit your application for unemployment insurance. The service is available Monday to Saturday between 6 a.m. and midnight and Sunday between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST. You will need the following items before starting the application process:
- Social Security Number
- Mailing address and telephone number
- Driver’s license or identification card
- Employment history from the last 18 months, which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all your previous employers
- The dates of employment, your earnings, and the reasons for separation from all positions held within the last 18 months
- Banking information, which is used to set up payments through direct deposit
Once your claim has been filed, you will receive a “Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed” to confirm that the application process has been completed correctly. This notice will outline the details of your claim, such as the amount of benefits and the number of weeks that you are eligible to receive support through the UI program. However, you need to be aware that the EDD can request additional information before processing your application. All additional forms can be found on the EDD website.