The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment Benefits In California

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment Benefits In California

By Richard Harroch Laid-off workers, independent contractors, gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed individuals may be eligible to receive unemp

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Laid-off workers, independent contractors, gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed individuals may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the Employment Development Department (EDD) of the State of California.
Here are the four most important points covered in this article:

The California Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to workers who have lost their job and meet the program’s eligibility requirements. 
If you have become unemployed or partially unemployed (or lost work as an independent contractor, gig worker, freelancer, or self-employed), you may file a UI claim. 
After you have filed a claim, you must continue to certify for benefits and meet eligibility requirements each week in order to receive benefit payments.
You get your benefits paid through an EDD Debit Card issued by Bank of America.

As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, have limited work history; and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or whose services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.
In this article, I try to provide answers to many of the frequently asked questions about the California unemployment benefits process. Many of these questions and answers are derived from the EDD website, with appropriate links to the EDD page where updated information may be posted from time to time. But the EDD website is sometimes confusing and spread out, so I have attempted to bring some order and clarification to the questions and answers.
The questions and answers are categorized into the following major sections:
A. Eligibility for California Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Employees

B. How Much You Are Entitled to in Unemployment Benefits in California
C. Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim in California If You Were an Employee and Laid Off
D. Unemployment Benefits for Independent Contractors, Gig Workers, Self-Employed Individuals, and Freelancers in California
E. Checking the Status of Your Unemployment Claim in California
F. Reopening an Unemployment Insurance Claim in California
G. Appealing an Adverse Decision on an Unemployment Claim
H. How To Get Your Unemployment Benefits Paid—The EDD Debit Card
I. California Training Benefits for Individuals Receiving Unemployment Benefits
J. Additional Resources Available on California Unemployment Benefits
K. Contact Information for the EDD on Unemployment Claims

Answers to frequently asked questions about the California unemployment benefits process.
© Vitalii Vodolazskyi- Adobe Stock
A. Eligibility for California Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Employees
1. What are the requirements to be able to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits in California as a laid off employee?
To receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments in California, you must meet all eligibility requirements when filing a claim and when certifying for benefits (which you must do weekly).
When filing for UI benefits in California, you must have earned enough wages during the base period to establish a claim, and be:

Totally or partially unemployed
Unemployed through no fault of your own
Physically able to work
Available for work
Ready and willing to accept work immediately

A base period is a specific 12-month term the EDD uses to see if you earned enough wages to establish a UI claim. To learn how EDD determines your base period, review How Unemployment Insurance Benefits are Computed (DE 8714AB) (PDF).
Your weekly benefit amount ranges from $40 to $450, plus $600 a week in PUA benefits if you are eligible. To get an estimate of what you will receive, use the UI Benefit Calculator.
For more information about how the EDD calculates a UI claim, review the following resources:

How Unemployment Insurance Benefits are Computed (DE 8714AB) (PDF)
A Guide to Benefits and Employment Services (DE 1275A) (PDF) 
California Employer’s Guide (DE 44) (PDF)

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Eligibility.htm
2. What are the weekly certification requirements for unemployment benefits in California?
To receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, you must provide the EDD eligibility information every two weeks. This is known as “certifying” for benefits. You must also meet all weekly eligibility requirements.
For help answering the certification questions, review this EDD page: 
If you stopped claiming benefits, even for one week, you will need to reopen your claim. If your claim has expired, you will need to file a new claim.
Important: If you withhold or give false information to receive benefits, such as not reporting work or wages, you are committing fraud. Penalties may include a loss of benefits, a false statement disqualification, and/or criminal prosecution.
Submit your certification using one of the following:

Online: UI Online
Mobile: UI Online Mobile
By phone: EDD Tele-Cert
By mail: Complete, sign, and mail the paper form

To avoid common errors and reduce payment delays, certify online or by phone.
UI Online is the fastest way to certify for benefits and report work and wages. If you don’t have work or wages to report, you can use UI Online Mobile from your smart phone or tablet.
To get started, log in to Benefit Programs Online and select UI Online or UI Online Mobile.
Check the Notifications section of your homepage. If weeks are available, select Certify for Benefits and answer all questions. If no weeks are available, the system will tell you when to check again and will send you an email reminder.
Note: The Work Search Record screen is optional and provides a helpful tool to record your work search efforts. To skip this screen, select Next. This is a confusing screen as the EDD has suspended the requirement to search for work during the pending of the pandemic.
You will receive a confirmation number when your certification has been successfully submitted. Keep this number for your records.
Sources: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Eligibility.htm; edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/certify.htm; edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Understanding_the_Continued_Claim_Certification_Questions.htm
CaUnderstanding the Continued Claim Certification Questions
3. I was fired from my job. Will I be eligible for UI benefits?
If you were fired from your job, the EDD may conduct a phone interview with you and your employer approximately two weeks after you file your claim to determine if you are eligible for UI benefits. But most likely they will review your filing on UI Online to make a determination.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
4. I just quit my job. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?
Not likely. If you quit your job, the EDD may conduct a phone interview with you and your employer about two weeks after you file your claim to determine if you are eligible for UI benefits.
If you quit your job, you must show that there was good cause for leaving, and that you made all reasonable attempts to keep your job (such as requested a leave of absence or transfer).
Note: Good cause can include unsafe working conditions, a medical doctor’s advice, or protecting yourself or your child from domestic violence.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
5. What if I lost my job and cannot work because of a disaster?
If you are unemployed due to a disaster (COVID-19 qualifies as a disaster), you may be eligible for UI benefits or Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
6. Can I attend school or training and receive UI benefits?
If you are qualified, the California Training Benefits (CTB) program allows you to continue receiving benefits while in training that is approved by the EDD. For more information, review:

California Training Benefits Program Fact Sheet (DE 8714U) (PDF)
Tips for Qualifying for California Training Benefits (DE 2332) (PDF)
Training Resources for Job Seekers

If you attend school or training and are not eligible for the CTB program, you may still qualify for UI benefits if you continue to be available for work and actively seek work.
For more information, see Section I of this article (“California Training Benefits for Individuals Receiving Unemployment Benefits”).
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
7. What if I am sick or injured? Can I get unemployment benefits?
If you are not eligible for UI benefits because you are sick or injured, you can file a claim for Disability Insurance instead of unemployment benefits.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
8. What if I am taking care of a seriously ill family member or bonding with my new child and cannot work?
If you are caring for a family member or bonding with a new child, you can file a claim with California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program. Caring for a new child includes the birth of a child, adoption, or foster care placement.
Note: You cannot receive PFL benefits for the same period of time you receive UI or Disability Insurance benefits.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
9. How does vacation pay or holiday pay affect my eligibility to receive UI benefits?
If you were given a definite return-to-work date at the time you were laid off, EDD may deduct vacation or holiday pay from your benefits.

If you are not given a definite return-to-work date, any vacation or holiday pay you receive when your job ends is not deducted from your weekly benefit amount.
If you are given a definite return-to-work date, any vacation or holiday pay for the period of the temporary layoff is deducted from your benefits. EDD will allocate your vacation and holiday pay as follows:
Vacation pay will be allocated to match the number of days you requested vacation, or the number of days your employer required you to use as vacation during the temporary layoff.
Holiday pay that is paid before you return to work will be allocated to match the holiday weeks. Holiday pay that is paid after you return to work will be allocated to match the week that you return to work.

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
10. I received a Notice of Determination (DE 1080CZ) and I am not eligible for unemployment benefits. What should I do?
You have the right to file an appeal if you do not agree with all or part of the decision. For more information, visit Unemployment Insurance Appeals.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
11. I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I collect unemployment benefits?
To collect UI benefits, you must show that you were in satisfactory immigration status and authorized to work in the United States when earning the wages you used to establish your claim. You must also give proof that you are currently in satisfactory immigration status, and are authorized to work each week that you claim benefits.
Note: The EDD verifies immigration status and work authorization through the Department of Homeland Security.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_Eligibility.htm
12. Would I qualify for unemployment benefits if I choose to stay home from work due to underlying health conditions and concerns about exposure to the coronavirus?
You can be eligible for benefits if you choose to stay home. Once you file your claim, the EDD will contact you if they need more information.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
13. Are unemployment benefits available if my employer reduces my hours or shuts down operations due to the impact of the coronavirus?
If your employer reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able, available, and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
14. Can I collect unemployment benefits if I am able to work remotely from home?
Working your full normal hours remotely would not qualify you for benefits. However, you could collect some unemployment insurance benefits if your usual number of work hours are reduced through no fault of your own. The first $25 or 25% of your wages, whichever is the greater amount, is not counted as wages earned and will not be reduced from your UI weekly benefit amount. For example, if you earned $100 in a week, the EDD would not count $25 as wages and would only deduct $75 from your weekly benefit amount. For someone who has a weekly benefit amount of $450, they would be paid a reduced amount of $375.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
15. Can I collect disability and unemployment benefits at the same time?
You have the right to apply and file a claim for unemployment and disability benefits at the same time, but you can only collect payments under one benefit program at a time. You’re encouraged to file a claim under one program based on your circumstances or file under both programs if you are unsure of which program is most appropriate. The EDD will review the facts and determine your eligibility for the appropriate program.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
16. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits if I answer “no” to the question about looking for work on my certification for ongoing payments?
This is a tricky question, and it may be safer to just answer “yes” to the question if you are doing some minimal effort to find work.
But the EDD says: “You should answer the question truthfully. Given the unique economic situation and lack of available work created by COVID-19, the EDD has been able to adjust our usual eligibility requirements to allow us to automatically process a large volume of claims. You will not be penalized if you answer “no” to the question about looking for work and will be paid benefits for that week if you meet all other eligibility requirements.”
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
17. If my account says “pending” after I certify for benefits, what does that mean? How long will I need to wait, and is there anything I can do to speed up my receipt of benefits?
After a claimant certifies for benefits through UI Online, the EDD sets the certification to “pending” in the system. This is because the EDD must review your responses to the certification questions in order to determine your continued eligibility for UI benefits, as required by law. Although the online system may do this automatically depending on your claim and how you responded to the eligibility questions, in some cases the certification must be reviewed by EDD staff. Once your certification is reviewed (either automatically or by staff), your benefits payment can be processed. The EDD has several instructional YouTube videos and materials to help guide claimants through the federally required certification process. You can refer to the Certifying for UI Benefits page for more information.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
18. My employer furloughed me when the business closed due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. I am currently receiving regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. My employer is reopening and has asked me to return to work. Will I lose my regular unemployment benefits if I refuse to work because I am afraid of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace? 
An individual is disqualified for UI if they refuse to accept “suitable” employment when offered. Under California law, the EDD will consider whether the particular work is “suitable” in light of factors such as the degree of risk involved to the individual’s health and safety. For example, if your employer has complied with the state’s requirements for reopening, and any and all government safety regulations, you may not have good cause to refuse to return to work and could be disqualified from continuing to receive regular UI benefits for a designated period of time.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm#collapseThirteen
19. What if I get unemployment payments, but the EDD determines later that I was not eligible? 
The EDD may assess an “overpayment” and demand the money back. If the EDD believes you intentionally made false statements in your claims application, you could face a penalty and forfeit future benefits. But providing information you believe in good faith should not result in a penalty.
You may receive a Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444) because you were paid Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits that you were not eligible for. Visit Benefit Overpayment Services for information on how to repay an overpayment.
The EDD classifies overpayments into two categories: “fraud” or “non-fraud”:

Fraud: If the EDD finds that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information and, as a result, received benefits that you should not have received, the overpayment is considered fraud. Withholding or giving false information to obtain benefits is a serious offense that can result in penalties and criminal prosecution. With a fraud overpayment, you can receive a penalty equal to 30% of the overpayment amount. Additionally, you can be disqualified from getting unemployment benefits for 5 to 23 weeks. You must repay fraud overpayments and penalties.
Non-Fraud: If you received benefits you were not eligible for and the overpayment was not your fault, the overpayment is considered non-fraud. You will receive a notice telling you if the overpayment must be repaid.

If you do not repay your overpayment quickly, the EDD can deduct the money from your future UI or State Disability Insurance benefits. The EDD can also:

Reduce or withhold your federal and state income tax refunds
Reduce or withhold your state lottery winnings
Reduce or withhold other money the state owes you
File a claim against you in court
Charge you court costs and interest
Record a lien on your property

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Overpayments.htm
20. If I earn any wages while collecting unemployment benefits, how will that affect my benefits?
Some unemployed workers may find opportunities for odd jobs, temporary work assignments, or part-time work while collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. If you were not fully-employed during the week in which you worked, you may be able to receive reduced UI benefits even if your earnings are higher than your weekly benefit amount as long as you meet all other eligibility criteria.
You must report any wages on your claim forms for the week in which you earned the wages, even if you weren’t paid for that work until later.
Your gross wages are required (total without the payroll deductions), and the EDD will figure the amount of wages to deduct from your weekly benefit amount. A total of $25 or 25% of those earnings, whichever is higher, is not considered deductible from your benefits. Any wages beyond that will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount and you will be paid the difference, if any.
If you earn too much money in a week to receive any UI benefits, the UI benefits remain in your claim to collect at a later time during the benefit year of your claim, as long as you remain unemployed and eligible. If you accept full-time work for two weeks or longer, your claim will become inactive and no additional claim forms will be mailed. If you become unemployed again, you must submit a new application for benefits. The easiest way to do so is to submit your application online through EDD’s website at www.edd.ca.gov.
Source: sdcl.org/PDF/UI_FAQ_Tips.pdf
21. How are school employees and teachers treated with respect to unemployment benefits?
The EDD site at www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_School_Employees.htm answers the following questions about teachers and school employees:

Is a school employee eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits during a recess period?
If my school employer notifies me during the recess period that I no longer have a job when the next term begins, am I eligible to receive benefits during the remainder of the recess period?
At the end of the school term, my school employer gave me a return-to-work date for the next school year. Before the term began, I was laid off because my position was eliminated. Am I eligible for benefits?
Am I eligible for retroactive benefits?
What is the difference between a school employee and a school supportive employee?
I’m a substitute teacher and my school employer offered me work in the next school year or term. However, I did not receive a definite return-to-work date. Am I still eligible for benefits during the recess period?
Before I filed for benefits, my last day of work was at my part-time job for a non-school employer. I also work for a school employer who has offered me work when the recess period ends. Am I eligible for benefits during the recess period?
The offer I received from a school employer for the next year or term depends on sufficient enrollment, funding, or changes in the program. Will I be eligible to receive benefits during the recess period regardless of my classification?

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQ_-_School_Employees.htm
22. Do I need to search for work in order to continue getting unemployment benefits?
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the EDD has stated that you do not need to follow the usual rule that you need to search for work each week to be eligible for unemployment benefits. That could change in the future.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Eligibility.htm
23. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits if I am getting paid by my employer using a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan?
No, you can’t get paid by an employer from a PPP loan and still collect unemployment benefits. PPP loans are to be used to help companies pay their worker salaries and other business expenses.
B. How Much You Are Entitled to in Unemployment Benefits in California
1. If I am a laid-off employee, how much in unemployment benefits am I entitled to?
The normal amount you are entitled to for unemployment benefits ranges from $40 per week to $450 per week, plus the $600 per week provided by the Federal CARES Act (PUA). The EDD has an online calculator to help you determine the exact amount.
Once you file your claim, the EDD will verify your eligibility and wage information to determine your weekly benefit amount (WBA). For more information, refer to How Unemployment Insurance Benefits Are Computed (PDF) or the Unemployment Insurance Benefit Table (PDF).
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI-Calculator.htm
2. How much can independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed individuals, or freelancers get in PUA/unemployment benefits?
In order to provide benefits as quickly as possible, payments will be issued by the EDD in phases. If you qualify for PUA (described later in this article), the initial payments you will receive are as follows:

$167 per week, for each week from February 2, 2020 to March 28, 2020, that you were unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.
$167 plus $600 per week, for each week from March 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.
$167 per week, for each week from July 26, 2020 to December 26, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason, up to a total of 39 weeks (minus any weeks of regular UI and certain extended UI benefits that you have received).

If you qualify for your claim to be backdated to an earlier PUA effective date based on your last day of work, you could receive payment for prior weeks you were unemployed due to COVID-19. You will be required to provide the EDD eligibility information every two weeks. This is known as “certifying” for benefits.
After these initial payments, depending on your prior earnings, your weekly amount of $167 per week may be increased. You will have an opportunity to certify your prior income on your PUA application. The EDD is working to establish efficient procedures to determine if an increase to the weekly PUA amount will be appropriate after an individual receives the initial weekly amount.
In addition to applying to future benefits, any increase from the $167 amount also applies retroactively. This means that you may also receive payment to make up the difference you should have been paid if your benefits had initially been based on the increased amount. You will be notified of any increase that you are entitled to receive.
Example: If you applied for PUA on April 28, 2020, the first day it was available, and you certified you were unemployed due to COVID-19 since March 8, 2020, you have been unemployed for seven full weeks. If you meet the COVID-19-related criteria for PUA, EDD will calculate your amount as follows:
March 8 to March 28 = 3 weeks x $167/week = $501
March 29 to April 25 = 4 weeks x $167/week (with extra $600 per week) = $3,068
TOTAL: $3,569 (from March 8 to April 25)
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
3. When will the extra $600 a week in benefits from the federal government expire?
The additional $600 per week in benefits provided by the federal government through the CARES Act (PUA) is effective until July 31, 2020. There have been discussions and legislation proposed to extend that date, but nothing has passed yet.
4. Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable to the recipient?
Yes, they are taxable at the federal level at the ordinary income rate. But for your California tax return, unemployment benefits are not taxable. You should receive an IRS Form 1099-G at the end of the year. At the time you make an unemployment claim, you have the option of having tax withheld from each payment.
Source: ftb.ca.gov/file/personal/income-types/unemployment.html
5. How long do unemployment benefits last?
California pays unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. The CARES Act extended benefits by time as well as money, adding an extra 13 weeks.
6. If I make some money from self-employment, piece work, odd jobs, back pay, or other work, does that reduce my unemployment benefit payments?
You are required to report to the EDD if you earn any “wages” from a host of categories: self-employment, gig work, back pay, bonuses, commissions, jury duty pay, etc. See “What are wages?” at the EDD site.
If you do report such wages, the EDD site has a formula and examples of how your unemployment benefits could be reduced.
7. What is IRS Form 1099-G: Statement for Recipients of Unemployment Compensation Payments?
In January of each year, the EDD mails a copy of IRS Form 1099-G to each person who was paid unemployment benefits during the previous calendar year.
The amount shown on the IRS 1099-G form includes all benefits paid to you during the previous tax year. The total also includes benefits you may have paid back because of an overpayment. If you repaid benefits, you do not include the amount repaid in the total you report to the IRS on your tax return. However, you need to make this adjustment when you file your tax return.
You use the information on Form 1099-G to prepare your tax return, along with any other 1099 forms you may have received, plus any W-2 forms from employers you worked for.
The 1099-G form will be sent to your last known address, so keep your address current with the EDD.
C. Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim in California If You Were an Employee and Laid Off
1. When should I file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim?
File your UI claim in the first week that you lose your job or have your hours reduced. Your claim begins on the Sunday of the week you submitted your application.
If you previously filed a UI claim within the last 52 weeks and have not exhausted your benefits, you must reopen your claim to resume benefits.
Waiting to file can delay your benefits.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm
2. What information do I need to file an unemployment claim in California if I am a laid-off employee?
You will need to provide your personal information and your:

Last employer information, including company name, supervisor’s name, address (mailing and physical location), and phone number
Last date worked and the reason you are no longer working
Gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work
Information on all employers you worked for during the past 18 months, including name, address (mailing and physical location), the dates of employment, gross wages earned, hours worked per week, hourly rate of pay, and the reason you are no longer working
Notice to Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance, Standard Form 8 (former federal employees only)
DD 214 Member 4 copy (ex-military only)
Citizenship status and, if you are not a US citizen, information from your employment authorization document

Tip: Use How to Set Up a UI Online Account (DE 2338H) (PDF) to collect the information you need to complete the process.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm
3. How do I file an unemployment claim in California online? UI Online is the fastest and most convenient way to file your unemployment insurance claim. UI Online Mobile is available for smartphone and tablet users. You can file your claim through UI Online during the times (Pacific time) listed below:
When you can file a claim with UI Online:  
Sunday 5 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Monday 4 a.m.–10 p.m.
Tuesday–Friday 2 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday 2 a.m.–8 p.m.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm
4. How can I file an unemployment claim in California by phone?
Phone lines to the EDD have been extremely busy. But if you want to try and file an unemployment claim by phone, here is the information, but expect to incur long waits. To file a claim or for payment information, representatives are available at the following toll-free numbers, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time), except on state holidays:
English 1-800-300-5616
Spanish 1-800-326-8937
Cantonese 1-800-547-3506
Mandarin 1-866-303-0706
Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058
TTY 1-800-815-9387
For general program questions or technical help, including registration, password resets, EDD Account Number, and how to use UI Online, contact EDD at 1-833-978-2511 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), 7 days a week, except state holidays.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm
5. How can I file an unemployment claim in California by mail or fax?
File your UI claim by accessing the paper Unemployment Insurance Application. For faster and secure processing, fax the completed application to the number listed on the form. If you mail your application, use the address listed on the form and allow additional time for processing. You can contact your local America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) for help with mailing or faxing a paper UI application. The fastest way to apply is still through UI Online.
Select one of the following UI applications that best describes your employment. If you have been affected by a disaster, complete the disaster section of the UI application:

Worked in California English | Spanish
Worked in California and another state English | Spanish
Served in the Military English | Spanish
Worked for the Federal Government English | Spanish

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm
6. What is the California Unemployment Insurance Online (UI Online) system?
UI Online is California’s web-based system for individuals to apply for and manage unemployment benefits, found here for computers and laptops and from here for access from mobile devices.
The UI Online system allows you to:

File or reopen a claim
Certify for continued benefits and report work and wages*
Get your latest claim and payment information
Update your address and phone number
Receive important notifications such as reminders to certify for benefits
View in-person and phone appointments, and reschedule a phone interview appointment
View, print, or request a copy of your Form 1099-G tax information from the past five years
Ask a question

Note: It may be necessary to send some documents via U.S. mail.
*Customers on Partial or Work Sharing claims are unable to certify for benefits or reopen an existing claim using UI Online at this time.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Online.htm
7. What should I expect after I file my unemployment claim in California?
You will be mailed important information about your claim and the UI program. Be sure to read and respond to all requests to avoid payment delays. For more information, refer to After You File a Claim.
Important: Most UI customers are required to register for CalJOBS and create an online resume that can be viewed by employers. You must meet this requirement within 21 days of receiving your Notice of Requirement to Register for Work (DE 8405) form. Failure to meet this requirement can result in a delay or loss of UI benefits. Watch How to Register for CalJOBS and Post a Resume (YouTube) for more information.
It normally takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers.
If you choose to receive payments via an EDD Debit Card, Bank of America will mail you a card once benefit payments are available. Due to the high volume of claims being processed, it may take a few extra days to receive your EDD Debit Card.
If you received Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits on an EDD Debit Card in the last three years, you will receive your benefit payments on that card. If your card has expired, a new card will automatically be sent to you once funds are available.
Note: If you were issued a card before 2015, you must request a new one. Visit Replace My Card on Bank of America’s website or contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913).
If you lost your EDD Debit Card, contact Bank of America as early as possible in the application process to request a replacement card before your first payment. Your new card will arrive 7 to 10 business days from the order date. You have a couple options to request a new card:

Visit Replace my Card on the Bank of America website.
Contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913). You do not need to have your old card number to speak to a representative. Choose the Lost or Stolen option in the automated menu. The call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times and Bank of America is working to address the issue.

Note: Bank of America representatives cannot answer questions about your claim or pending payments.
Payment information is updated daily and is available through your UI Online account or by calling the UI Self-Service Phone Line at 1-866-333-4606.
For more information on the benefits of using an EDD Debit Card, delivery, activation, tracking payments, expired cards, and more, visit EDD Debit Card at the Bank of America website.
See also Section H of this article (“How to Get Your Unemployment Benefits Paid—The EDD Debit Card”).
D. Unemployment Benefits for Independent Contractors, Gig Workers, Self-Employed Individuals, and Freelancers in California
1. Are Unemployment Benefits Available for Independent Contractors, Gig Workers, Self-Employed Individuals and Freelancers?
As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history; and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or whose services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. The provisions of the program include:

Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic.
A new 13-week federal extension for those who run out of their regular state-provided UI benefits (maximum 26 weeks). File a PUA claim and you may be converted to the federal extension once it is available.

The PUA benefits are payable if you don’t qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in California or another state, and also do not qualify for state Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits. This includes:

Business owners
Self-employed individuals
Independent contractors
Freelancers
Gig workers

You can also be eligible if you qualified for regular UI benefits, but have already collected all of those benefits.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you can only be paid PUA benefits if you were legally working in the United States when you were affected by COVID-19. You can only claim benefits for the weeks that you were legally allowed to work.
You must also meet one of the following criteria:

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
You are unable to work because a health care provider advised you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
You are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
A child or other person in the household for whom you have primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 and school or facility care is required for you to work.
You became the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.
You have to quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
You were scheduled to start a job that is now unavailable as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
You are unable to reach your place of employment as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
If you work as an independent contractor with reportable income, you may also qualify for PUA benefits if you are unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited your ability to continue performing your customary work activities, and has thereby forced you to stop working.

Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm
2. How do I apply for the PUA/unemployment benefits available to independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed individuals, or freelancers?
You can file a PUA claim through UI Online, just as you would for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The EDD began accepting applications from new applicants on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
3. How much can independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed individuals, or freelancers get in PUA/unemployment benefits?
See the answer under Section B (“How Much You Are Entitled to in Unemployment Benefits in California”), question 2 of this article.
4. Will I need to submit with my PUA application any documents to prove my income?
No, you do not need to submit any documents to the EDD with your PUA application. You will enter your total income for the 2019 Calendar Year on the application. Initially, this will be used to pay the minimum benefits of $167 per week plus $600 per week from March 29 to July 25. If the income information you provide indicates that you meet an annual earnings threshold of $17,368 or more, the EDD will work as quickly as possible to verify your income using other resources available to the department in order to increase your PUA weekly benefit amount. If additional information is needed, the EDD will contact you.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
5. If the EDD contacts me and asks for proof of my income, what documents should I submit?
The EDD will inform you of the documents you can submit. In general, you may submit items such as an annual tax return, 1099 forms, W-2s, pay stubs, or other documents that show your income.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
6. Which PUA applicants are eligible for an increase above the minimum of $167 a week?
You may be eligible for more than the minimum weekly benefit amount of $167 if your annual income for 2019 that you report on your PUA application meets a minimum threshold. You will be required to substantiate that income if requested by the EDD. If you earned at or below this amount, you will remain at $167 per week. If you are entitled to more than the minimum, that higher amount will also apply retroactively to any weeks of the minimum $167 per week in PUA benefits that you receive.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
7. What should I do if I already filed a claim for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and I received a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award showing $0 in benefits?
If you filed for UI and received an award notice (which shows your weekly and maximum benefits amounts) indicating $0 in benefits available, it could be because of one of three scenarios:

EDD could not verify your identity with its records. You will receive by mail instructions on how to verify your identity. You have 10 calendar days from the mail date to send the EDD two different identity documents from the list of Acceptable Documents for Identity Verification (DE 1326CD) (PDF). Once they verify your identity, you’ll receive a new notice telling you what EDD’s wage records show for weekly UI benefit payments if you meet all other eligibility requirements.
You were misclassified by your employer as an independent contractor (instead of an employee) or your employer may have inadvertently reported your wage information incorrectly to the EDD. If you believe EDD’s record of your employment wages isn’t accurate, you may provide the EDD with a brief summary of why you disagree with the notice and information about your wages, and request that the EDD investigate your case. The EDD will follow up to obtain any details or documentation needed to make a determination.
You’re self-employed or an independent contractor and have not paid contributions to the state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are usually not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits and are unemployed or partially unemployed for reasons directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including business owners, the self-employed, and those with limited recent work history.

Note: If you are one of the workers under question 3 above (self-employed or independent contractor) who received the $0 benefit award notice, and you have not requested a wage investigation as described in question 2 above, then you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
8. What should I do if I believe I am an employee (was misclassified as an independent contractor) but my claim for regular unemployment benefits was denied because I have insufficient earnings?
If you believe you should be considered an employee but the EDD’s wage investigation concluded there weren’t sufficient earnings reported to substantiate a regular UI claim, then you will receive a form called a Notice of Status of Wages (this is different from a $0 benefit award notice). The Notice of Status of Wages indicates that you do not qualify for regular UI, and you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online. If you believe the Notice of Status of Wages was in error, you have the right to appeal within 30 days. But if you appeal, then you should not apply for PUA.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs
9. I am already receiving regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Can I choose to switch over to PUA benefits if I want to identify myself as an independent contractor or as self-employed?
No. If you are already receiving regular UI benefits, then you cannot qualify for PUA benefits.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
10. What should I do if I don’t know if I am eligible for regular unemployment insurance or PUA?
UI Online is the EDD’s application portal for both regular UI and PUA claims. All applicants will be asked the same basic questions, including about employment history and earnings information, along with some new questions needed to determine PUA eligibility. Based on your responses as well as wage information reported to the EDD, the EDD will determine if your claim is processed as a regular UI claim or a PUA claim.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
11. What if I am out of work due to COVID-19, have a small amount of W-2 income, and a large amount of income from self-employment? Can I not declare the W-2 wages and just rely on self-employment to get PUA?
No, if EDD has wages reported from an employer over the last 18 months that would qualify you for a regular UI claim, then the EDD is required by law to proceed with a regular UI claim for you.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
12. If I already applied for UI but I meant to apply for PUA, what do I do?
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or someone who may otherwise qualify for PUA, and you already filed for UI benefits (before April 28 when the PUA application was available), please read this information carefully to ensure you get the right benefits as quickly as possible:

If you have employee wages reported (e.g., as reported by an employer on a W-2) for the prior 18 months, and the amount of wages you earned qualifies you for a regular UI claim, then you do not qualify for PUA. You should follow the EDD’s instructions as they relate to the UI claim that you already filed.
If you have already received regular UI benefits and you still have a balance on your UI claim, you do not qualify for PUA at this time. Please follow these instructions to continue to get UI benefits.
If you do not have employee wages for the past 18 months (self-employed or an independent contractor), you may apply for PUA. You do not need to cancel your existing UI claim. You do not need to call the EDD about the prior UI claim you filed where you may have received either a notice from EDD indicating a $0 award amount, or a notice of disqualification. If you believe the $0 UI award amount or disqualification notice was in error and that you did receive wages as an employee that would qualify you for UI (for example, refer to How much would I receive in PUA benefits?), you have the right to appeal within 30 days. If you appeal the EDD notice about your UI claim, then do not apply for PUA.
If you are eligible for PUA, you will receive PUA payments on an EDD Debit Card. If approved for PUA and after certifying for benefits, you may be able to receive your first PUA payment within approximately 2 days of your application if you have an existing EDD Debit Card (and there are no issues that require a further review of eligibility), and within 4 to 7 days when new debit cards and checks are mailed.

It is important to note that if you qualify for a regular UI claim (for example, refer to I am already receiving regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Can I choose to switch over to PUA benefits if I want to identify myself as an independent contractor or as self-employed?), then you may not file a PUA claim. However, you should look out for the following notices:

If you receive a specific notice called the Notice of Status of Wages (this is different from the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award that tells you your weekly and maximum benefit amounts), indicating that you do not have sufficient earnings to qualify for regular UI, then you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online. If you appeal the Notice of Status of Wages on your regular UI claim, then you should not apply for PUA.
If you receive a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award showing $0 in benefits, and you know that you are self-employed or an independent contractor so you do not appeal this decision on your UI claim, then you may apply for PUA by filing a new claim through UI Online.

Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
13. I am unable to receive regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits because I had to serve penalty weeks or was found ineligible. Is there any other financial assistance that I can receive?
You may be eligible to receive federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. The PUA program helps individuals who are not eligible for regular state UI benefits and who are unemployed, partially unemployed, unable to work, or unavailable to work as a direct result of a COVID-19 related reason. This includes individuals who cannot collect regular UI benefits because they are serving penalty weeks or were found ineligible for benefits due to certain legal reasons.
For example, you may be eligible for PUA benefits if your unemployment is directly related to COVID-19, and you are ineligible for traditional UI benefits because you are serving penalty weeks or because you quit or were fired from a previous job.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
14. I’ve heard that UI benefits are only counted beginning on the day after I apply. If I’ve been unemployed since March, and I apply for unemployment benefits in April, can I get UI benefits back to the period since I became unemployed?
When you apply for PUA benefits on UI Online, list the actual date of unemployment that directly resulted from COVID-19. The EDD will assess your eligibility for regular UI and PUA. If you qualify for PUA, your claim will begin effective the week when you became unemployed. If you apply for regular UI benefits, you will need to contact the EDD to request that the effective date for your claim be changed to the week when you became unemployed. In addition, the $600 per week in additional unemployment benefits that is available from March 29 through July 25, 2020, is also available even if you apply after March 29.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
15. I am applying for PUA through UI Online, and the application asks me to list my total income. Is this gross or net income, and why am I being asked for this information?
When you apply for PUA, you will be asked for your total income received in calendar year 2019. The income you report may be used to increase your PUA weekly benefit amount from the minimum amount of $167 up to $450, based on your income (regardless of the amount of income you report, you will receive an additional $600 with your PUA weekly benefit amount for the weeks you were out of work due to COVID-19 from March 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020). If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, the law requires that the EDD look at your net income, total after taxes, to determine your PUA weekly benefit amount.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
16. I am primarily self-employed but have worked occasionally as an employee. What is the basis for not letting me get PUA just because I have some minimal income as an employee?
The federal CARES Act, which created the PUA program, requires that an individual may only receive PUA benefits if they are not eligible for regular or extended UI benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. This includes individuals who have exhausted all rights to such benefits, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, or those who have insufficient work history.
Generally, if you have enough employee earnings (e.g., W-2 wages) that have been reported to EDD by an employer, you would be eligible for regular UI benefits (plus any additional or extended UI benefits, such as the $600 weekly benefit provided under the CARES Act). Because the existence of sufficient employee wages would make you eligible for regular UI, under federal law, you would not be eligible for PUA.
But if your earnings as an employee are minimal, you will likely not qualify for UI, which means you would then be eligible for PUA if you have a COVID-19 reason for being unemployed.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance/faqs.htm
17. What ongoing “certification” requirements are there for independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed individuals, and freelancers?
You will be required to “certify” for your benefit payments. Certifying is the process of answering basic questions every two weeks that tells the EDD you’re still unemployed and otherwise eligible to continue receiving biweekly payments.
Typically, it will take about a week after you certify before you receive your first benefit payment. If you are eligible for benefits, you may receive your first PUA payment in about two days if you have an existing EDD Debit Card (and there are no issues that require a further review of eligibility). New debit cards and checks are mailed within 4 to 7 days. Once you activate the card, you can track, use, and transfer your benefit payments.
Source: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm
E. Checking the Status of Your Unemployment Claim in California
1. How do I check on the status of my unemployment claim online?
To check on the status of your unemployment claim, log in to UI Online.
2. How do I check on the status of my unemployment claim by phone?
You can check on the status of your unemployment claim in California through an automated, self-service telephone system at 1-866-333-4606. This line is open 24 hours a day.
For assistance while applying, you can call 1-833-978-2511, open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, but the lines are often jammed.
F. Reopening an Unemployment Insurance Claim in California
1. What happens if you stop certifying for unemployment benefits?
If you stop certifying for continued benefits, even for one week, your Unemployment Insurance claim becomes inactive. You must reopen your claim to request benefit payments.
You can reopen your claim if it was filed within the last 52 weeks and you have not exhausted your benefits. If your benefit year has ended, you must file a new claim. Waiting to reopen or file a new claim can delay benefit payments.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Reopen-A-Claim.htm
2. How can you reopen an unemployment claim in California?
Via online: To reopen an employment claim online, UI Online is the fastest and most convenient way to reopen your claim. You can reopen your claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week following the steps below:
Step 1: Access your UI Online account
Log in to Benefit Programs Online and select UI Online.
Step 2: Select Reopen Your Claim
Select “Reopen Your Claim” from the Notifications section of your UI Online home page. This link will only appear if you need to reopen your claim.
Step 3: Answer all questions
You will be asked a series of questions to help the EDD determine your eligibility to receive UI benefits. If additional information is needed, a phone interview will be scheduled.
Step 4: Review and submit your answers
After you have answered all the questions and have verified your answers, select Submit to reopen your claim. If you successfully submitted your request, the Confirmation page will display. Print or save a copy for your records.
Step 5: Check your status
Access your UI Online homepage to check the status of your request. If you successfully reopened your claim, you will be advised when to certify for benefits. If additional information is needed, a phone interview will be scheduled. The date and time will be sent by mail and will also appear in the Notifications section of your UI Online homepage. It may take up to 10 days to reopen your claim if it needs to be reviewed by an EDD representative.
By phone: If you want to reopen your claim by phone, representatives are available at the following toll-free numbers, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time) except on state holidays.

English 1-800-300-5616
Spanish 1-800-326-8937
Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058
Mandarin 1-866-303-0706

By fax or email: If you want to reopen your claim by mail or fax, access the paper Unemployment Insurance Application. For faster and secure processing, fax the completed application to the number listed on the form. If you decide to mail your application, use the address on the form and allow additional time for processing.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Reopen-A-Claim.htm
3. What should I expect after I reopen my unemployment claim?
You will receive important information about your claim by mail. Be sure to read and respond to all requests to avoid payment delays.
You will also receive a separate mailing with a Continued Claim Form (DE 4581). You must submit this form every two weeks to request your benefit payments. This process, known as certifying for benefits, provides the EDD with information to determine your eligibility.
You may certify for benefits online, by phone, or by mail. (Allow at least 10 days for processing if certifying by mail.)
Important: If you have opted out of receiving the paper Continued Claim Form (DE 4581), you will not receive a paper form in the mail. Instead, you will receive an email notification when it’s time to submit your certifications through UI Online.
See also this YouTube video on reopening your unemployment claim in California.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Reopen-A-Claim.htm
G. Appealing an Adverse Decision on an Unemployment Claim
1. How do I appeal a decision from the EDD on my unemployment claim?
You have the right to appeal the EDD’s decision to reduce or deny you benefits. You must submit your appeal in writing within 30 days of the mailing date on the Notice of Determination and/or Ruling (DE 1080CZ).
You can download the Appeal Form (DE 1000M) (PDF) or use the copy included with the Notice of Determination that you receive. Mail your appeal to the return address shown on the decision notice.
If you don’t have a copy of the Appeal Form (DE 1000M), or cannot print a copy, you can write a letter to the EDD to notify the Department that you want to appeal the decision to reduce or deny you benefits.
If you choose to write a letter, include all of the following information:

Full name
Address
Phone number
Social Security number
The name and mailing address of any representative
The reason for your appeal
A copy of the decision you are appealing or the date of the decision
Any request for language assistance or special accommodations

Source: edd.ca.gov/unemployment/appeals.htm
2. What happens after you file an appeal?
The EDD’s Office of Appeals will notify you of the time and location of your hearing at least 10 days in advance. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will conduct the hearing, and give employers and claimants a chance to present their evidence.
Note: If you live outside of California, your appeal will be conducted by phone.
While your appeal is pending, you must continue to certify for benefits. If you are found eligible, you can only be paid for periods which you have certified for, if you have met all other eligibility requirements.
The ALJ will issue a written decision to you and your employer. The decision will include information about Filing a Second Level Appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB).
H. How to Get Your Unemployment Benefits Paid—The EDD Debit Card
1. What is the EDD Debit Card?
If you choose to receive payments via a debit card, Bank of America will mail you a card once benefit payments are available. Due to the high volume of claims being processed, it may take a few extra days to receive your EDD Debit Card in the mail.

If you received Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits on an EDD Debit Card in the last three years, you will receive your benefit payments on that card. If your card has expired, a new card will automatically be sent to you once funds are available.

Note: If you were issued a card before 2015, you must visit Replace my Card or contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913) to request a new one.

If you lost your EDD Debit Card, contact Bank of America as early as possible in the application process to request a replacement card before your first payment. Your new card will arrive 7 to 10 business days from the order date. You have a couple options to request a new card:
Visit Replace my Card on the Bank of America website.
Contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913). You do not need to have your old card number to speak to a representative. Choose the “lost or stolen” option in the automated menu. The call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times and Bank of America is working to address the issue.

Note: Bank of America representatives cannot answer questions about your claim or pending payments.
Payment information is updated daily and is available through your UI Online account or by calling the UI Self-Service Phone Line at 1-866-333-4606.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
2. How can I get my EDD Debit Card replaced?
If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, it can be replaced at no cost to you. To have a replacement card mailed to you, you must contact Bank of America EDD Debit Card customer service by calling:

1-866-692-9374 (voice)
1-866-656-5913 (TTY)
Collect at 423-262-1650 (if outside the U.S.)

Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
3. Why are my benefits initially on a debit card and not immediately established as a direct deposit?
The EDD Debit Card allows benefits to be paid to claimants who do not have a bank account and eliminates the need for the EDD to request and maintain bank account information for each claimant. Advantages of the debit card include ease of use, increased security, and efficient delivery of Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments.
You may choose to transfer some or all of your benefits to your checking or savings account by performing a direct deposit transfer. Information regarding direct deposit transfers is available on the EDD Debit Card page.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
4. When will I receive my EDD Debit Card?
The EDD Debit Card is mailed to you when you certify for your first week of benefits and the payment is authorized by the EDD. Allow 5 business days for delivery. Subsequent payments are issued to the EDD Debit Card when you submit a certification and you are determined eligible for payment.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
5. How do I use my EDD Debit Card?
Once you receive and activate your new debit card, you can then use the card immediately as you would a personal debit card. You can make purchases up to the amount available on your card anywhere Visa cards are accepted. You can withdraw cash without charge at any Bank of America network ATM, and can make two free withdrawals per benefit deposit at non-network ATMs.
You may also elect to walk into any financial institution that accepts Visa and cash out the balance on the card. (Note: You’ll need to keep close track of your card balance via phone or online tools if you wish to cash out an exact balance; bank tellers do not have access to your card account information.) In addition, you may also choose to have Bank of America conduct a direct deposit transfer of some or all of the available funds to your personal checking or savings account.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
6. What is a direct deposit transfer to my bank account?
A direct deposit transfer is done electronically and transfers the money available on your EDD Debit Card account to your personal checking or savings account. Most can be done fairly quickly. After you receive and activate your card, contact Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice), or TTY 1-866-656-5913, to set up your direct deposit transfer.
Important information about direct deposit transfers:

Direct deposit transfers cannot be performed until you receive and activate the EDD Debit Card.
You do not need a checking or savings account with Bank of America to set up a direct deposit transfer to your own bank account with another banking institution.
Direct deposit transfers can be set up as a one-time transfer or as an automatic recurring transfer.
A valid email account is required.
Delays may occur until the next business day if you bank at a smaller institution or if the transfer happens over a weekend when banks are closed.
This option can be set up by contacting Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice) or 1-866-656-5913 (TTY). Do not contact the EDD to set up a direct deposit transfer.
If immediate access to your funds is critical, you may choose to only have a portion of your benefits transferred to your personal bank account and keep the remainder on your card so those funds are immediately available.
You may begin, modify, or stop your direct deposit transfer at any time.
Direct deposit transfers may also be referred to as a funds transfer.

Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
7. How do I set up a direct deposit transfer to my checking or savings account?
After you receive and activate your EDD Debit Card, contact Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice), or TTY 1-866-656-5913.
You will need the following to set up a direct deposit transfer:

An EDD Debit Card issued in your name.
A valid email account.
Your routing and account numbers for the account you want to transfer the money to. The routing number is your bank’s number, found at the bottom left hand corner of your check. Your account number is found at the bottom middle of your check.

Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
8. Do I need an account with Bank of America to use my EDD Debit Card?
No. You do not need a checking or savings account with Bank of America or any other financial institution to receive your benefit payments on the EDD Debit Card.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
9. Will the EDD view or track my transactions on my EDD Debit Card?
Bank of America does not share information about card accounts or transactions with third party agencies for privacy reasons. As a normal practice, the EDD will only have access to information related to the amount of benefits deposited to your EDD Debit Card and the date those deposits are made. The exception to this practice is when UI and State Disability Insurance fraud is suspected and being investigated. In this case, transaction information will be made available to EDD investigators as part of the investigative process and could lead to disqualification of benefits with additional penalties and criminal prosecution.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
10. Will the EDD or Bank of America contact me to obtain personal information about my account?
No. The EDD or Bank of America will never contact you under any circumstances to request confidential information about your EDD Debit Card. If you receive a call, email, or letter requesting confidential information about your account, such as your debit card number, PIN, or SSN, do not respond.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
11. Will my EDD Debit Card affect my credit score?
No. The EDD Debit Card is not associated with a credit line and will not show up on your credit report. Your EDD Debit Card allows you to access your benefit payment funds from your EDD Debit Card account.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
12. Will I be charged fees to use my EDD Debit Card?
Fees can be avoided with careful use of your card. When you receive your EDD Debit Card and welcome packet, thoroughly read your California Employment Development Department Debit Card Deposit Agreement and refer to the Schedule of Bank Fees section to ensure you understand any transaction and service fees that may apply to your card. Fees can be avoided by following the tips provided in the welcome packet.
There are no fees for the following:

Cash-back with purchases at grocery stores, drug stores, and U.S. post office locations
ATM withdrawals at domestic Bank of America ATMs
Two free ATM withdrawals per benefit deposit at non-Bank of America ATMs (though the other Bank may charge a transaction or service fee)
Unlimited teller cash access at any bank or credit union that accepts Visa® cards
Unlimited direct deposit transfers to a checking or savings account (including non-Bank of America accounts)
Unlimited balance inquiries at ATMs and online customer service
Unlimited automated and live customer service inquiries
Free domestic card replacement

Fees may apply for the following:

ATM withdrawals at non-Bank of America ATMs (after the two free transactions per deposit)
International ATM withdrawals
Non-Bank of America ATM transactions by ATM owners that may impose an additional “convenience fee” or “surcharge fee”
Domestic Emergency Cash Transfer
International Transaction Fee

Some merchants may charge a “convenience fee” or “surcharge fee” for debit card transactions.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
13. My EDD Debit Card is set to expire. How do I get a new card?
A new EDD Debit Card will automatically be issued to you when your card is set to expire if there has been financial activity (deposit or transaction) in the last 90 days or you have a card balance of $20 or more. New cards will be mailed on the first business day of the month that the card is due to expire. You should receive a new card within 7 to 10 days after the mail date.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
14. My EDD Debit Card has expired and a new card has not been issued. Where is my new card?
A new EDD Debit Card will not be issued if there has been no financial activity (deposit or transaction) in the last 90 days and the account balance is $19.99 or less. For information about a new card after your card expires, contact Bank of America.
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/FAQs_The_EDD_Debit_Card.htm
I. California Training Benefits for Individuals Receiving Unemployment Benefits 
1. What is the California Training Benefits Program?
If you are an Unemployment Insurance (UI) customer, California Training Benefits (CTB) allows you to continue your education, upgrade your skills, or learn a new trade while receiving UI benefits.
Let the EDD know that you’re interested in CTB when you file your claim. If you’ve already filed your claim, contact EDD online, by phone, or in-person at the nearest America’s Job Center of California.
To protect your potential right to a training extension (TE), contact UI to let EDD know that you are interested before your 16th week of benefit payments. If the maximum award of your claim is less than 16 weeks, you must contact EDD before your claim reaches a zero balance.
Note: EDD does not pay any educational or training-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, or transportation. However, there are state, federal, and employer assistance programs that may fund your school or training. To learn more about the available types of financial aid programs, visit Federal Student Aid.
If you are approved for CTB, you will be excused from the requirements that you must be available for work, actively seek work, and accept work, while you complete your training. You may also be eligible for a TE which provides additional weeks of benefits while you complete your school or training.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/California_Training_Benefits.htm
2. What are the types of eligible training for the California Training Benefits program?
You can choose from a variety of eligible training types for CTB including:

Government organized trainings
Union, trade association, or employer organized trainings
Self-arranged training

Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/California_Training_Benefits.htm
3. What reporting is required to the EDD about your training?
You are required to report your start date during the week you begin your school or training. This allows the EDD to begin the CTB approval process. To avoid payment delays, only report this one time.
Source: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/California_Training_Benefits.htm
4. Where can I get more information on the California Training Benefits?

Fact Sheet California Training Benefits (DE 8714U) (PDF)
 Tips for Qualifying for California Training Benefits (DE 2332) (PDF)
 California Training Benefits Program Information and Application (Sample) (DE 3100T) (PDF)
 Notice of Request for School or Training Information (Sample) (DE 4365T) (PDF)
 California Training Benefits (CTB) (YouTube)
 FAQs–California Training Benefits
Training Resources for Job Seekers

J. Additional Resources Available on California Unemployment Benefits
EDD Information:

UI Benefit Calculator: Estimate the weekly benefit amount you are entitled to.
After You File a Claim: Provides information about what to expect after you have filed your UI claim.
FAQs–UI Program: Frequently asked questions about the UI Program.
FAQs–Eligibility Requirements: Frequently asked questions about the UI eligibility requirements.
File a Claim: Entertainment Industry
Contact UI: Still need help? Contact the EDD online, by phone, or by mail.
SDI Online: Apply for Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave benefits and manage your DI claim.
Benefit Overpayment Services: View your balance, make a payment, and set up an installment agreement.
Bank of America EDD Debit Card Website: Manage and obtain your unemployment benefits payments.
Ask EDD: How to ask questions of the EDD.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) FAQs: Frequently asked questions on the PUA program in California

Videos:

How to Apply for UI Benefits (File a Claim) (YouTube) English | Spanish | Cantonese | Vietnamese | Mandarin
Benefit Programs Online: Overview and Registration for New Users (YouTube)
UI Online Overview and Registration (YouTube) English | Cantonese | Mandarin | Spanish | Vietnamese
Certify for Continued Benefits (YouTube) English | Cantonese | Mandarin | Spanish
Certify for Continued Benefits with UI Online Mobile (YouTube) English | Cantonese | Mandarin | Spanish
Reopen Your Claim (YouTube) English | Cantonese | Mandarin | Spanish
Ask a Question Through Your UI Online Account (YouTube)
How to Reschedule Your Phone Interview (YouTube)
Reporting Wages and Earnings (YouTube) English | Spanish
Reporting Entertainment Industry Earnings (YouTube)
Reporting Self-Employment and Commissions (YouTube)
Reporting Bonuses, Pensions and Other Types of Income using UI Online (YouTube) English | Spanish
Access Tax Information Form 1099-G (YouTube) English | Spanish
View Detailed Payment Information Using UI Online (YouTube) English | Spanish
Update Your Personal Profile (YouTube)
UI Online: Update Your Email, Password, Security Questions and Personal Image (YouTube)

Useful Web Articles:

Collecting Unemployment Benefits in California (Nolo)
Where Are Your Jobless Benefits? (New York Times)
How to File for Unemployment in California During the Coronavirus Pandemic (KQED)
All of your questions answered about unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic (Business Insider)
Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak (U.S. Department of Labor)

K. Contact Information for the EDD for Unemployment Claims in California 
1. What are the various ways I can contact the EDD about my unemployment claim?
Online: UI Online is still the fastest way to file your Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. You can also ask questions about your claim using UI Online by selecting Contact Us at the top of your account homepage.
UI General or Technical Support by Phone: Get help with general UI questions and technical help with registration, password resets, EDD Account Numbers, and how to use UI Online.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), 7 days per week, except state holidays.
Phone number: 1-833-978-2511 (English and Spanish)
UI Claims Support by Phone: Get help with filing a claim by phone or getting payment information.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time), Monday through Friday except state holidays.
Phone number:
English: 1-800-300-5616
Spanish: 1-800-326-8937
Cantonese: 1-800-547-3506
Mandarin: 1-866-303-0706
Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058
California Relay Service (711): Provide the UI number (1-800-300-5616) to the operator
TTY: 1-800-815-9387
UI Automated Self-Service Line: Get information on how to file a new claim or reopen an existing claim and your last payment issued. You can also certify for benefits using EDD Tele-Cert, request copies of your 1099G tax information, and find your local America’s Job Center of California.
Hours: 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
Phone number:
English: 1-866-333-4606
Spanish: 1-866-333-4606
Source: edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/Contact_EDD.htm
Related Articles:

Financial Help for Freelancers and Independent Contractors Affected by the Coronavirus Crisis
Where’s the Money? The Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About CARES Act Loans
Small Business Relief: COVID-19 Resources for Startups
Newly Available CARES Act Loans: 10 Things Small Businesses Need to Know

Copyright © by Richard D. Harroch. All Rights Reserved.
Richard D. Harroch is a Managing Director and Global Head of M&A at VantagePoint Capital Partners, a venture capital fund in the San Francisco area. His focus is on internet, digital media, and software companies, and he was the founder of several internet companies. His articles have appeared online in Forbes, Fortune, MSN, Yahoo, FoxBusiness, and AllBusiness.com. Richard is the author of several books on startups and entrepreneurship as well as the co-author of Poker for Dummies and a Wall Street Journal-bestselling book on small business. He is the co-author of the 1,500-page book “Mergers and Acquisitions of Privately Held Companies: Analysis, Forms and Agreements,” published by Bloomberg. He was also a corporate and M&A partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, with experience in startups, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital. He has been involved in over 200 M&A transactions and 500 startups. He can be reached through LinkedIn.
This article was originally published on AllBusiness.com. See all articles by Richard Harroch.

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