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Unemployment Benefits

The California Employment Development Department (EDD)'s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program operates under federal and state law to provide benefit payments to eligible workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own or are working less than full-time at the time you file your claim. It is financed by contributions from employers who pay a tax based on a percentage of wages of workers covered by the program. Under UI, eligible workers can receive payments for a maximum of 26 weeks, provided they are able and willing to accept a suitable job.

Those that have served in the military for the last 18 months and become unemployed should call the EDD immediately for UI benefits. Your claim cannot begin until you file for benefits. If you have not been in the military during the last 18 months, you can access the online eApply4UI application at EDD's website

Former service members should apply for UI benefits immediately upon separation from active military service. When filing for UI benefits, recently discharged veterans must provide information from their Certificate of Release or Discharge Form Active Duty, DD Form 214 or NOAA Form 56-16 (or when not available, Orders to Report, or Orders of Release may be used). If you do not have this documentation, do not delay in filing your claim. EDD can help you obtain the necessary information to file your claim.

The effective date of your claim is based on the date you first contact the Employment Development Department (EDD). The effective date determines your base period, and as a result, your benefit amount. A base period is a one-year period of earnings, divided into quarters. The base period is used to establish a claim and calculate an award. You may wish to review your wages during each quarter of the base period to determine the best time to file. You will not receive any benefits until you actually submit an application or call EDD to file a claim.

Claims filed since January 2, 2005 will have a maximum weekly benefit amount of $450. For a listing of eligible entitlements, please see the Unemployment Insurance Benefit Table.

You are required to register in California's Job Search assistance website (CalJOBS) within 21 days. You may also be required to complete a work search questionnaire and attend multiple reemployment assistance interviews or workshops. Failure to register in CalJOBS or failure to attend scheduled reemployment assistance appointments, may affect your eligibility for UI benefits.

​You can access the online eApply4UI application at EDD's website.

The application will ask a series of questions. Some questions will be about your recent employment. Other questions will ask for personal information for identification and statistical purposes, such as date of birth and years of education. It is important to be as accurate as possible with the information you provide. Please have the following information available when filing your claim:

  • Your name and social security account number

  • Your mailing and residence addresses (if different)

  • Your telephone number

  • Your last employer information (regardless of the length of time you worked for the employer) including name, address (mailing and physical location) and telephone number (including area code)

  • Information on all employers you worked for during the 18 months prior to submitting your applications and filling your claim, including name, period of employment, wages earned and how you were paid

  • Your last worked date and the reason you are no longer working

  • Your gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work

  • Your driver's license or ID card number, if you have either

  • Your citizenship status (which may include your alien registration number)

If there is a question of your eligibility for UI benefits, you will be scheduled for a telephone eligibility determination interview. You will receive a notice entitled "Telephone Interview Notification and Instructions" that will indicate the date and time the EDD representative will phone you. This notice will also give you information about the issues to be discussed and possible questions you may be asked.

An EDD representative will phone you at a predetermined time, and will ask you questions to assist that representative in determining your eligibility. The interviewer may also speak to your former employer if you quit or were fired from your last job.



Veteran Services Benefits - Card

Unemployment Benefits