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File for Unemployment in California
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
You will need to have access to the following pieces of information when filing your claim for unemployment:
- Your name used while working and Social Security Number
- Mailing and residing address as well as phone number
- State issued ID card number
- Last date of employment with your previous employer
- Last employer’s contact information, including name, mailing address, physical location, and phone number. Be sure that the mailing address is accurate as notification of the claim will be sent to your previous employer and an incorrect address could cause a delay in qualifying for benefits.
- Information on all places of employment for the previous 18 months, including wages and entire time period of employment
- Specific reason that you are no longer employed with the last employer (this will be provided to your previous employer, so be specific and this may result in the need for a phone interview to determine eligibility)
- If any payments will be provided from the last employer (including severance packages). While this will not impact your eligibility or amount of benefits received, it must be reported accurately
- Verification that you are available and able to work
- Proof of legal status and authorization to work in the United States
Be sure that the information provided is accurate and fully disclosed. If it is determined that you have willfully provided inaccurate information, you will be assessed a false statement disqualification that will prevent you from receiving anywhere from 2 - 23 weeks of benefits. In addition, you could also be convicted of a felony for making a false statement or failing to report information in an attempt to fraudulently receive benefits. This could result in fines, prosecution, and loss of ability to collect benefits for 52 weeks.
Once the initial application has been received, the EDD department representative will file the claim and send a series of documents through the mail to the claimant and the employer. Eligibility will then be determined, which may require a phone interview. The determination of eligibility will be mailed and both the employer and claimant have the ability to appeal the decision.
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Claim Weekly Benefits
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
After your eligibility has been granted, you can access your account information through UI Online. You will want to ensure that you submit certifications by the due date on your homepage, or you may lose the ability to claim benefits for that week.
You can complete your certification via a paper version of the Continued Claim Form, online through the EDD Web-Cert found on the EDD website, or by calling into the self-service EDD Tele-Cert. Through all three options, you be asked to answer a series of pre-qualifying questions that will determine your eligibility for that coverage period. This includes if you received wages during the given time period, if you actively were searching for employment, and if you were available to work. This must be completed every 14 days to maintain eligibility. During the process, you will be asked to track your job contacts that you made by following the instructions provided on the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award letter that will be sent to your home.
Unemployment Insurance benefits are provided electronically through an EDD Debit Card, which you will receive in the mail within five days of when the first payment is processed. All future UI benefits will be distributed through the same manner. The EDD Debit Card is issued through Bank of America and you have the the option to transfer funds from your debit card to a personal bank account. There may be up to a two day delay in accessing funds while this fund transfer is occurring.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
Once a decision has been made on eligibility, both the employer and the claimant have the right to appeal the decision. The employer may feel that they do not have an obligation to pay unemployment and the claimant may not agree with the decision to deny benefits.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
In the case of a Claim Denial or Discrepancy, an appeal has to be submitted within 30 days of the date that the Notice of Determination was sent to the return address provided on the notice.
You will want to include your name, Social Security Number, the reason for the appeal, a copy of the decision made by the EDD, and your contact information. The Office of Appeals will notify you of the date and time of your hearing, which will be completed by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). After the ALJ conducts the hearing, a written decision will be issued.
There is an opportunity for a second level of appeal to the decision made by the ALJ. This will need to be submitted within 30 days of receiving the written notice by mail to the address provided on the ALJ’s decision. Once received, a confirmation will be sent along with the options available and a written notice of the Appeals Board decision. This decision can be appealed to the Superior Court if there is still disagreement on the ruling.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
The contact information for the California Office of Appeals is dependent on your physical location. For s specific office address and phone numbers for the various regional locations, please see the State of California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board website.