California Unemployment Insurance

In California unemployment benefits are administered by the state Employment Development Department (EDD). If you lose your job or your hours have been reduced to less than full-time, you may be eligible for unemployment benefit insurance.

You may apply for unemployment benefits either by phone, in writing, or online. Using the website at is the fastest and easiest way to apply for unemployment insurance. Make sure to file your claim as accurately as possible. Any changes to your claim will have to be made by telephone. The EDD typically experiences very high call volume and it can be difficult to reach to a representative by phone.

When applying for a California unemployment insurance benefit you will need to provide your personal information including your social security number and driver’s license or ID card number and the correct name and address of your last employer, as well as all the employers you have worked for in the last 18 months. You must also supply the reason for your loss of employment. This information will be confirmed with your last employer. The EDD will also ask you about any benefits you may receive after termination, including sick or vacation pay; if you are legally able to work in the United States; and if you are actively seeking employment.

Once you have completed and submitted your application, it will be reviewed. The EDD makes a judgment based upon your application and telephone or written interviews with yourself and your former employer. Your former employer must provide information about the reason for your separation. If you voluntarily quit your job or were fired for poor performance, it may affect your ability to collect unemployment benefits.

The EDD should notify you within ten (10) days about the status of your claim. Once your claim for unemployment insurance benefits has been approved, you should begin receiving payments. Payments vary from a minimum of $40 to a maximum of $450 per week depending on your quarterly earnings. A typical unemployment benefit lasts for a period of one year, although payments may be extended during times of unusually high unemployment.

[Go Back]    [^ Back to Top]