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California Unemployment Eligibility Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits in California

Unemployment insurance eligibility for California residents is only granted to those who meet the specific unemployment requirements. Unemployed residents must be aware of the qualifications for unemployment in order to determine if they meet the criteria. Residents who are eligible for unemployment benefits must follow application procedures set by the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD). In the event that you became unemployed due to circumstances not pertaining to you or the company’s lack of resources, you may still qualify for unemployment in California, with the provision that you meet certain additional criteria. Taxes paid by employers are used to fund unemployment benefits nationwide. The amount of unemployment benefits you will receive is based on your recent work history and your earnings during the one-year "base period." Unemployed weekly benefits are calculated by dividing residents’ earnings from their highest paid quarter by 26, with $450 being the maximum amount of benefits per week. Additionally, California offers residents who meet the qualifications for unemployment a comprehensive range of employment and training services in partnership with state and local agencies and organizations. 

To obtain more information on unemployment insurance eligibility in California and to learn how to qualify for unemployment benefits, read the sections below:

  • Who qualifies for unemployment benefits in California?
  • What are the requirements to get unemployment benefits in California?

Who qualifies for unemployment benefits in California?

 

Qualifications for unemployment assistance in California are based on the wages an employee has earned during the 12 months before filing a claim. Employers are in charge of reporting wages to the CA EDD on behalf of each employee. During the base period, residents must have earned at least $1,300 in their highest paid quarter, or they must have earned a minimum of $900 and at least 1.25 times the earnings they received during their highest paid quarter. Additionally, if a worker has been laid off through no fault of his or her own, he or she is eligible to apply for unemployment aid. Furthermore, to maintain eligibility for EDD, California residents must be physically able to work and actively seeking work.

In the event that you quit your job or got fired from work, you may still meet the qualifications for unemployment assistance, depending on the circumstances. In order to inquire about your eligibility for unemployment after quitting or getting fired, you must schedule a phone interview with the EDD. After speaking to an EDD interviewer and submitting the requested information and documentation, he or she will decide if you meet the qualifications for unemployment assistance. 

If the EDD interviewer decides that you do not meet unemployment insurance eligibility requirements, he or she will send you a notice to your mailing address. Employers may also respond to the notice of the claim filed. If an employer responds in a timely manner, the EDD will mail an additional notice stating whether or not the claimant is eligible to receive benefits or not. The notice will also determine if the employer’s account will be charged for a former employee’s unemployment aid. Both the claimant and the employer can disagree and file an appeal.

 

What are the requirements to get unemployment benefits in California?

 

Eligibility for unemployment in California is based on a number of different factors established by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Unemployment aid is intended to help residents in need and provide resources in order to help these residents find new employment opportunities. Standard qualifications for unemployment in California include:

•    Being able and willing to work.
•    Actively seeking new employment.
•    Being completely or partially unemployed.
•    Being unemployed through no fault of your own.
•    Meeting minimum wage requirements during the base period (12 months).
•    Being approved for training before training benefits may be covered.

Additionally, residents who have been approved to receive aid in California must meet certain unemployment insurance eligibility requirements each week in order to continue receiving benefits. These requirements include:

•    Being physically able to work.
•    Being ready to start working immediately.
•    Actively looking for employment each week.

To prove that they meet unemployment insurance eligibility criteria, recipients must submit a certification by mail, by phone or online. The information provided must show proof of their job search and their work availability in order for these residents to continue meeting the qualifications for unemployment aid. If the information provided on the certification does not show requirement fulfillments, you will be contacted by the EDD to schedule a phone interview. The information you provide will determine whether or not you will continue receiving unemployment assistance. If you disagree with the decision that an EDD official has made, you may file an appeal against it.