FAQs – Eligibility

What do I need to be eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

To receive unemployment benefits a person must be unemployed due to no fault of his own. He needs to be physically healthy to work, looking for work and ready to take a new job assignment if offered.

Can anyone apply?

Anyone who is unemployed or only working part-time can apply. You have to be out of work versus being in the final days of an old job before termination.

An application can be submitted online which is situated at the top of the website. Application data is submitted online, so there is no initial form or paperwork to fill out. Once completed the application is then processed for eligibility.

A person can also talk to unemployment personnel by phone . A phone application can be performed through a set of questions the representative will ask, they will begin to fill out the data in a applicaiton while listening. All responses are recorded.

Finally, a person can apply for unemployment benefits on a paper form by filling out a UI Application. The form then has to be mailed or faxed into your residing state.

How do I qualify for UI benefits when I need them?

If a person has worked in other states (different than where they currently reside) prior to being unemployed, he will likely be eligible for benefits. Those who are self-employed, however, usually can’t apply. Your states unemployment office can provide detailed clarification on your specific case.

What sort of formula is used to determine the UI benefit amount paid?

Each applicant is evaluated based on what was earned over 12 months previously. This can be 15 to 17 months prior to the claim being filed. The weekly benefit payment is then determined as a math result using the highest quarter of earnings during the evaluated period.

How much will be paid in benefits?

Depending on a person’s case, unemployment benefits per week can range from $40 to as much as $450. The maximum will only be reached if a person was making gross pay of at least $11,674.01 per quarter or more.

How long will the benefit payments last?

An approved unemployment claim will provide benefits to a person for one year with up to 12 to 26 weeks of payments. The payments don’t need to be every consecutive week. Weeks paid or not paid depend on what income a person does receive from other sources.

Is there a good time to apply for UI benefits versus other times?

As soon as a person becomes unemployed or is reduced from full-time to part-time, he should submit a unemployment benefits application. If approved, the claim is retroactive to the Sunday prior to filing the application. There is also a one-week waiting period with no benefits paid.

What do I need to file a UI claim?

Again, a person must be unemployed through no fault of his own or reduced to part-time from full-time. Applicants also need to be ready to give their social security number, contact information, address, phone number, last employer information and contact data, as well as prior employers data for the prior 18 months before a claim was submitted. Also, an applicant needs to provide his driver’s license number, data last worked and why he is now unemployed, and citizenship or immigration status.

I got a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed, DE 1101CLMT, now what?

This notice provides a copy of the claim submitted to your unemployment office to explain the applicant’s rights as well as provide a chance to fix any mistakes on the application. If mistakes are not corrected, UI assumes they are correct as submitted, which could cause problems later on. So it’s important to check everything one more time. Corrections can be made in writing or by phone.

Can non-citizens obtain UI benefits?

Non-citizens have to be able to show they had legal residence in the U.S. and are approved to work. Further, non-citizens have to be able to show they can still stay in the U.S. and keep working each week benefits are provided. This distinguishes the differences between those here on specific work visas versus permanent residents. Documentation proof has to come from the U.S. federal government. EDD verifies this data and submitted documentation with Homeland Security.

Can a person fired from work still receive UI benefits?

Terminated applicants need to note this fact on their application. UI will contact the individual as well as the employer to get all the facts involved and confirm data submitted. Then, UI benefits will be determined per what the law allows. Under California state law, a terminated employee may still get UI benefits if certain criteria is met. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. More information can be found on your local unemployment benefits website.

Can a person who quit working receive UI benefits?

Similar to the process when a person is fired, both parties will be interviewed including the applicant and employer to confirm details. In some cases, quitting a job for “good cause” can still keep a person eligible for unemployment benefits. These issues are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Can loss of work due to disaster or an emergency count?

Yes. The details of the disaster or emergency should be included in the application or the phone interview. If the disaster or emergency makes it impossible to receive correspondence and benefits at a home address, the person should work with an their local office for arrangements.

Even if a person normally doesn’t qualify for UI benefits, if the area he lives and works in is determined to be a Presidential Disaster, then Disaster Unemployment Assistance can be applied for.

Can I keep going to college or school and get benefits?

Under the Training Benefits (CTB) program, students can still receive UI benefits while studying. You must first be approved for the training involved. Those in programs that are not approved can still get UI benefits if still seeking and available to take a job.

If a medical condition makes it impossible to work, what can I do?

An unemployment applicant has to be able to physically work to receive benefits. This includes being available to work and being willing to go to the work when it becomes available. As a result, the general rules of benefits don’t accommodate a person who needs help but can’t work due to medical reasons. Instead, such an applicant needs to connect with the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.

The state SDI program is designed to help injured workers through both non-industrial and industrial disability leave benefits. These benefits provide financial assistance to workers out of work due to medical reasons certified by medical staff.

Can I still get unemployment benefits if I’m caring for a dependent or bonding with a new child?

Again, generally, the same rules apply for needing to be physically able to work and being able and willing to work when receiving unemployment benefits. There is no standard exemption for those bonding with new children or caring for disabled dependents. For these purposes the SDI program is a better option, since these issues can be covered and helped through SDI disability financial assistance.

Does my vacation and holiday leave get calculated into my UI benefits?

If no specific return date was provided prior to going on leave, then the vacation or holiday pay doesn’t count or offset a weekly UI benefit payment calculation. If, on the other hand, a specific date was provided, then the holiday and vacation pay will be included in the UI benefits pay and reduce the amount one can receive.

How do I know if my unemployment claim is approved?

All applicants who apply for UI benefits will receive a documented notice of a determination. This notice will spell out if the applicant is approved for UI benefits or not. The notice to the applicant directly.

I suddenly have an issue and need to reschedule when I meet with EDD. What do I do?

Get in touch with a representative as quickly as possible. Make a phone call for the fastest connection.

Can I make a comment to anyone about how the interview went or how the interviewer behaved?

The state wants to know how its representatives are performing. Applicants can always contact them for comments by calling and requesting a discussion with a manager or supervisor. Alternatively, you can send a letter.

If I received a Notice of Determination, who can I talk to?

Get in touch with an unemployment claims representative. Fill out the online form and then call them for the fastest results.

I was denied for unemployment claim on my Notice of Determination, DE 1080CZ. Now what?

Applicants can always appeal an initial unemployment claim. The appeals section on the agency website covers the details on how to file for a second review.

Doesn’t the fact that I paid into unemployment out of my paycheck make me eligible for benefits when I apply?

Employees do not pay for UI benefits. Only employers are taxed. That said, an applicant can always seek an appeal of a determination when denied benefits after applying.

I received a Request for Identity Verification, what does it mean?

When staff is unable to verify information provided, or if they find that the data seems to show signs of identity theft, we will follow up with requests for further verification. Not responding with requested information could cause an application denial.

I received a Request for Information, but I never filed an unemployment claim. Why am I involved?

EDD sends out notices for more information when it sees something odd in the application, which can include social security numbers and contact information. So it’s possible for a person who never applied for benefits to be contacted in such instances.

I didn’t respond or responded late. What do I do?

Those with an application pending should turn around the requested data as quickly as possible. It also helps to call and and explain the delay. This can help save an application from being denied due to lack of information or verification. Staff can extend the time period for response if notified of the delay.

Where do I get a copy of my UI records and filings?

Staff can provide a copy of an unemployment claim filed with the agency. A hardcopy of the records will be mailed out to a recipient within 10 business days (this is in addition to weekends and holidays). Online requests can be made via the webpage.

I received a Notice of Overpayment in the mail. What does this mean for me?

When determined that a benefits recipient has received more UI benefit payments than should have been sent, it will make an adjustment. This is documented and communicated in a Notice of Overpayment. These notices are mailed out to the payment recipient and detail what has been determined as an overpayment. The notice will include any penalties that apply as well. A reason for the overpayment determination will also be provided and instructions on how to appeal.

Okay, I agree an overpayment happened. Where do I send the payment to correct it?

All personal checks or money orders should be sent directly. Do not send cash. With the payment, make sure to provide a full legal name and social security number. Payments should be mailed to: