California Unemployment Compensation Claim

Filing for Unemployment in California

The world economy is in the middle of a global recession, and California has been one of the hardest hit areas. However, people in California can get some relief through the Employment Development Department (EDD) of California. EDD handles new unemployment claims, and oversees the payment of unemployment compensation. Since there can be many applicants trying to claim unemployment at the same time, taking the time to make sure your claim is filed correctly will result in receiving your benefits as soon as possible.

Before you make a claim for unemployment, you have to make sure that you qualify. This means you have to be unemployed through no fault of your own. If you decided to quit your job, or loose it due to illegal activity, your claim for unemployment can be denied. You also have to be physically able to work, and be ready and willing to accept work if an employment opportunity comes up.

The first thing to do before filing your claim is to figure out when to actually file. EDD calculates benefit amounts based on the amount of money earned in a particular base period, which is one year divided into 4 quarters. If you made more money in the later part of this period, it is possible to receive more unemployment benefits by waiting a month and letting the previous period cycle. This way, those higher wages account for more of your income during the new base period.

Once you decide on the right time to file, you can start your claim online at the EDD claim website: The online application will ask you some preliminary questions such as “Have you worked in a sate other than California in the last 18 months.” After finishing the preliminary question, you will have to fill out your main unemployment application with personal info such as address, social security number, and date of birth. The application goes on to questions about your previous 18 months of employment such as job title, gross wages, and why you are no longer working.

After you finish your application, a phone interview will be set up. EDD picks the date and time, so be sure you have access to the phone number you provide them for that time. The interviewer will ask you the same kinds of question as the form you filled out, and some additional questions if they need clarification. Your claim will then be processed and hopefully approved if you meet all the eligibility requirements. You will start receiving checks by mail in a couple weeks. If your claim is denied, there is an appeals process that is described on the EDD website ( on how to contact unemployment for an appeal. The California EDD also requires you to be actively looking for work. In order to verify you are seeking work, occasionally EDD will send you a form to fill out asking for the contact information of the employers for jobs you have recently applied for.

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