How To Apply For Unemployment in California

If you live in California and recently lost your job through no fault of your own, you're eligible to collect unemployment. Filing for unemployment in California is a somewhat complex process, so make sure that you understand what you'll need to do before attempting to file.

How to collect unemployment in California:
*Gather the necessary documents and information

To collect unemployment, you'll need to provide the unemployment office with the following:
Your name and social security number.

  • Your mailing address and the address of your residence (if different from your mailing address).
  • Your telephone number
  • State issued driver's license or state ID number.
  • The last date that you were employed. If working part time, the unemployment office will need the number of hours you are working in a week. The name, address and phone number of your previous employer.
  • The name, period of employment and earned wages from all employers you worked for 18 months previous to your unemployment filing.
  • The length of your longest period of employment in the last year and a half and the name of your employer during this time.
  • The specific reason that you are no longer working for your recent employer.
  • Information on any expected payments from a former employer.
  • Information regarding your ability to work and willingness to accept work if it is offered to you. Proof that you are legally allowed to work in the United States.

Submit Your Claim

California provides several options for filing unemployment claims. You may apply online on at the Employment Development Department website. Additionally, you may call EDD at 1-866-333-4606 and to file unemployment claims by phone. Due to California's sharp rise in unemployment, you may be on hold for a long time if you attempt to file by phone. The EDD strongly encourages individuals to file for unemployment online. Additionally, you may complete a paper application and mail it to the Employment Development Department, P. O. Box 826880 - UIPCD, MIC 40, Sacramento, CA 94280-0001.

Once you've submitted your claim, it will be reviewed by EDD, which may contact you or your employer by telephone for an interview. Once a decision has been made, you'll receive a document from EDD indicating whether or not you qualify for unemployment insurance.

If you qualify for unemployment insurance, you'll begin receiving payments. Each week, you'll submit the Continued Claim Form, DE4581. This form requires you to reaffirm each week that you still qualify for the benefits you are receiving.

Due to the current demand on the EDD, it may take some time before you receive unemployment. File as soon as possible to begin receiving your payments. Filling for unemployment may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, but it is the only way to begin receiving unemployment insurance payouts.


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