Apply and Receive California Unemployment

For those residents of California who are now jobless and need to apply for unemployment, California has streamlined the entire process considerably over the past few years. New claims can now be filed online at, continued claim forms can be completed and filed online and benefits can now be received electronically rather than by paper check as has been the procedure until recently.Help Wanted Ad

Before an individual files an application for unemployment, they will need the following information:

  • Names used while working.
  • Social security number.
  • Mailing address.
  • Telephone number.
  • State-issued identification card number.
  • Dates, names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all employers in the previous 18 months as well as wages earned.
  • Reason(s) for termination of employment.
  • Whether any former employer is continuing to pay wages of any kind.
  • Whether there are any impediments to the acceptance of full-time work.
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the U.S.

Once this information is assembled, an unemployment application can be submitted in three ways:

  • Online at, which can be done 24/7.
  • By telephone, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 1-800-300-5616.
  • By mail or fax by printing out a paper application from the EDD website and either mailing it or faxing it in to the number at the end of the application, which can be completed online.

Former members of the U.S. military or federal employees may be able to file online or by mail or fax.

Once a claim has been filed with the California EDD, it will be researched for validity and the reason(s) given for the termination of employment will be confirmed with the former employer. Severance pay may be allowable without a reduction in benefits, but it must be specifically stated as severance pay. A telephone interview will also be scheduled and it is imperative that the claimant not miss the telephone interview or they risk denial of benefits.

If, after the telephone interview, the California EDD determines that the claimant is eligible to receive unemployment benefits, notification will be sent via U.S. Mail to the claimant’s address.

There is a one-week waiting period after termination of employment during which no benefits will be paid. Therefore, it is important to file as soon as possible after termination of employment to satisfy the one-week waiting period.

The continued claim form must be completed in blue or black ink unless it is completed online. All questions must be answered completely or the form will be returned and benefit payments will be delayed. Claimants should be sure they report all gross wages earned during the weeks indicated.

Do not enclose any other correspondence with the continued claim form or mail it to any other address. Do not overnight the form and be sure to remove the form at the perforations before mailing it.


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