Miscellaneous MI 5

Claim Filing Requirements

The information in this section covers the requirements for filing new claims, additional claims, reopened claims and partial claims.

Title 22, Section 1326-1(a), provides:

Any person who has become separated from his or her work, who is working on a part-time basis, or who is a partially unemployed individual may file a claim for benefits. . . .

A. Definitions

Benefit Year:

"Benefit year" is defined in Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1276 as:

[T]he 52-week period beginning with the first day of the week with respect to which the individual first files a valid claim for benefits and thereafter the 52-week period beginning with the week in which such individual again files a valid claim after the termination of his or her last preceding benefit year. . . .

The claimant is allowed only one new claim per 52-week benefit year; once the new claim is filed, any subsequent opening of the claim is either an additional or a reopened claim, as described below. Once the new claim has been filed, and provided there is no bar to filing an additional or reopened claim (such as a disqualification), there is no limit on the number of times the claim may be opened and closed.

New Claim:

A new claim is defined in Title 22, Section 1326-2, as "an application for the establishment of a benefit year and a computation of the maximum benefits payable and the weekly rate."

Additional Claim:

An additional claim is defined in Title 22, Section 1326-4, as "an application which certifies to the beginning date of a period of unemployment" under the following conditions:

  1. Which falls within a previously established benefit year . . .
  2. When a break of one or more weeks has occurred in the claim series with intervening employment.

The key to an additional claim is intervening employment. Employment is service performed by an employee for wages or under any contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied. Refer to Unemployment Insurance Code Section 601 through 611 for additional information on "employment."

Reopened Claim:

Title 22, Section 1326-5 provides:

  1. "Reopened claim" means an application which certifies to the beginning date of a period of unemployment:
    1. Which falls within a previously established benefit year . . .
    2. Which follows any of the following:
      1. A period of one or more weeks for which the claimant failed to file a continued claim or partial claim and during which the claimant did not perform services in employment.
      2. A period of one or more weeks for which the claimant was ineligible for benefits . . .

Partial Claim:

An initial or subsequent partial claim is defined in Title 22, Section 1326-8, as:

[A]n application for a determination of eligibility for partial benefits which certifies to the completion of a week of partial unemployment either to satisfy a week of the waiting period requirement or to claim partial benefits for a compensable week or two compensable weeks.

Continued Claim:

A continued claim is defined in Title 22, Section 1326-6, as, "an application to serve a waiting period or for the receipt of benefits which certifies to a week of unemployment."

B. New Claims

There are two requirements for filing a new claim that apply to all claimants:

  1. The claimant must be "unemployed" within the meaning of the Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1252 or 1279.
  2. The claimant must contact the Department to file a claim and provide the information required under Title 22, Section 1326.

Title 22, Section 1326-1(b)(1)(A), provides:

An individual who becomes unemployed and wishes to claim unemployment benefits is required to contact an Employment Development Department field or branch office, to file a new claim for unemployment insurance benefits. The claimant provides his or her last employer’s name and address. …When the new claim is filed…[t]he department interviews the claimant in detail as to the reasons for his or her unemployment and any other facts which might raise a question of eligibility. The department informs the claimant in writing of his or her benefit rights and duties, gives assistance in filing the new claim, and provides written instructions on his or her responsibility to look for work.

1. The Claimant Must Be Unemployed

Title 22, Section 1326-2(b), provides that "Any person who is an unemployed individual, as defined in Sections 1252 or 1279.5 of the code, may file a new claim. "

"Unemployed" is defined in Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1252(a):

An individual is unemployed in any week in which he or she meets any of the following conditions:

  1. Any week during which he or she performs no services and with respect to which no wages are payable to him or her.
  2. Any week of less than full-time work, if the wages payable to him or her with respect to the week, when reduced by twenty-five dollars ($25) or 25 percent of the wages payable, whichever is greater, do not equal or exceed his or her weekly benefit amount.
  3. Any week for which, except for the requirements of (serving a waiting period prior to first payment), he or she would be eligible for benefits (reduced on a daily basis for disability).
  4. Any week during which he or she performs full-time work for five days as a juror, or as a witness under subpoena.

2. The Claimant Must Contact the Department to file a claim and provide required information

The claimant must provide the Department with specified information before the claim can be filed; the claim will be denied if certain basic information is lacking. Title 22, Section 1326-2(b), provides:

The claimant shall file the new claim by contacting the Department and shall set forth:

  1. His or her first and last name, and middle initial if applicable.
  2. His or her social security account number, and any other names and social security account numbers by which the claimant is or was known.
    1. The Department may require the claimant to verify the social security account number as being the one issued to him or her by the Social Security Administration if the information available to the Department indicates that the social security account number presented by the claimant may belong to another individual, is not a valid social security account number, or was never issued by the Social Security Administration, or that the wages shown in the base period of the claim may belong to another individual.
    2. If the Department requires a claimant to verify the social security account number which he or she has provided to the Department during the claim application, the claimant must submit verification of his or her social security account number through the Social Security Administration, or he or she may submit to the department a copy of his or her annual statement issued to him or her by the Social Security Administration.
    3. The Department shall publish and maintain a list of the identity documents and provide it to claimants required to verify their social security account numbers.
  3. His or her date of birth, including month, day, and year.
  4. His or her sex gender.
  5. His or her current mailing address.
  6. His or her current residence address.
  7. His or her driver’s license number or identification card number, provided that the driver’s license or identification card was issued by a local, state, or federal agency, or a foreign government, and the card contains his or her full name, date of birth, and photograph.
  8. The date he or she last worked for his or her most recent employer.
  9. The reason he or she is no longer working for his or her most recent employer. The Department shall promptly notify the individual’s most recent employer of the reason the individual has given as to the reason he or she is no longer working for his or her most recent employer. The Department may use the claimant’s statement as to the reason he or she is no longer working for his or her most recent employer to assign the individual an appropriate seek work plan.
  10. The name and mailing address of his or her most recent employer, except in cases where due to reasons beyond the claimant’s control, the claimant does not know the name or address of his or her most recent employer. For example, the claimant may have no record of wages paid, or his or her most recent employer may now be out of business, the employer may have moved, or the employer may have died.
  11. The name or names of his or her base period employer or employers; the estimated wages that individual earned during the base period; and the approximate periods of employment for that individual with the base period employer or employers. If the information available to the Department indicates that the wages reported for that individual may not belong to that individual, the department may require that individual to provide information to substantiate that he or she earned the reported wages.
  12. Whether he or she in the past 19 months preceding the filing of a new claim served in the United States armed forces, or worked for an agency of the State of California, of another a state or of the federal government, or worked for an employer in another state.
  13. Whether he or she has filed a claim for unemployment insurance or disability insurance against California, against another state or against the federal government in the past 12 - 24 months.
  14. Whether he or she is a member of a union, and if so, the name and number of the union local, and whether he or she is registered as out of work with his or her union.
  15. Whether he or she is unemployed or working part time and knows the law requires true and complete answers, and that he or she may be required to register for work (as defined in Sections 1251-1 of these regulations).
  16. A statement that the claimant is a citizen or national of the United States and, if not, that the claimant is in a satisfactory immigration status, as defined in Section 1326-13 (c)(1) of these regulations. The claimant shall also make the statement set forth in Section 1264-1 (d) of these regulations, as to his or her citizenship or immigration status during the base period.
  17. Such other information as the department may require.

Example 1, Requirement to Supply Last Employer’s Name and Address:

The claimant is required to supply the last employer’s name and address or to have substantially complied with that request. If it is reasonable that the claimant is unable to provide the mailing address of his/her last employer, the claimant should be found eligible under Section 1253(a) (refer to Title 22, Section 1326-2(b)(10) for additional information). If however, the claimant knows the name and address of the last employer but refuses to give the information to the Department, the claimant will be ineligible under Section 1253(a). Whenever the issue arises concerning whether or not the claimant provided the correct name and/or address of his/her last employer, the Department must also consider under Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1257(a) whether the incorrect employer information was given with the intent to fraudulently collect UI benefits.

Example 2, Requirement to Supply Mailing Address And Residence Address:

According to Title 22, Section 1326-2(b)(5-6), the claimant must provide the Department with a valid mailing address and a valid residence address. If the claimant does not have a residence address but has a Post Office Box or a Personal Mail Box, the claimant will be required to provide the Department with address verification. Address verification will consist in part with the claimant providing proof that he or she is the renter or the authorized user of the Post Office Box or a Personal Mail Box. (refer toTitle 22, Section 1251-1(n) for requirements).

Example 3, Requirement to Provide Such Other Information as the Department May Require:

The Department is required to gather information from claimants in order to determine eligibility for UI benefits. If a claimant does not provide the information required to resolve whether or not a potentially disqualifying act or circumstance exists, then the Department must assess a disqualification under Section 1253(a). However, before a disqualification based on Section 1253(a) can be assessed:

  • The additional information must actually be REQUIRED to resolve whether or not a potentially disqualifying act or circumstance exists.
  • The claimant must be made aware that the information is required, and that he or she will be denied benefits if the information is not provided.
  • The claimant must be given the opportunity to obtain the required information.
  • The Department must make reasonable attempts to obtain the necessary information, if the information is not provided by the claimant.

Whenever possible, an indefinite disqualification under section 1253(a) should not be assessed for more weeks than would have been assessed under the appropriate UI Code section, had the Department been able to gather the needed information from the claimant. If possible, the disqualification should be issued under the Code section related to the issue raised and not to the lack of response to the Department’s request for additional information.

Code section 1253(a) should be used sparingly and only when a more specific code section is not suitable. For example, if a claimant reports on his continued claim for benefits that he was unavailable for work for the two week period and is subsequently not available for the interview and does not respond to the Department’s request for more information, the claimant would be disqualified for the two weeks under section 1253(c). The disqualifying information provided by the claimant is applicable for a definite period of time and there is no information that would suggest that the unavailability continues into the future. The claimant would be disqualified under section 1253(c) for the two weeks, not under section 1253(a) indefinitely because, while the claimant may not have responded to the request for more information, the Department had enough information to complete a determination under the code section that governs availability since the claimant has the burden to show good cause for the unavailability.

However, an indefinite disqualification under Code section 1253(a) does apply when the claimant does not supply required information or documents at claim filing and no further benefits can be paid on the claim without it. The failure to provide the required information or documents effects the entire claim for benefits and not just a specific week or weeks within an otherwise valid and payable claim. For example, all claimants are required to attest to U.S. citizenship or provide evidence of satisfactory immigration status, if not a U.S. citizen. When the claimant is not a U.S.citizen or national, he is required to provide the Department with his alien registration number or documentation to establish valid status for residency and work authorization in the United States. If the number is not provided at claim filing, the claimant is given 21 days to provide the number. If the clamant does not supply the number or other documents the Department is required to stop payments indefinitely until the claimant complies. Therefore, the claimant would be disqualified indefinitely under code section 1253(a) until he complies with the authorized regulations.

For suitable work issues the circumstances are somewhat different because in order to assess a disqualification under section 1257(b) the Department must establish that the job offered was suitable. Without information from the employer or the claimant this is not possible. Therefore, if the claimant reports he refused an offer of work in a week and does not provide the employer contact information or enough information to determine if the job was suitable and the Department is unable to contact the claimant for the information, a ten week disqualification under section 1253a is assessed. A ten week penalty is given as it is Department policy not to assess a penalty under section 1253(a) for more than the maximum number of penalty weeks possible under the code section governing the potentially disqualifying act or circumstance. The maximum penalty under section 1257(b) is 10 weeks. If the claimant contacts the Department during the 10 week penalty period and provides the information, the Department will do a redetermination and complete a suitable work determination based on the information provided. If the claimant is found eligible under suitable work the disqualification would be purged.

C. Additional Claims (AC)

An AC is filed when the claimant wishes to claim benefits on a UI claim with an existing balance, and the benefit year has not ended, and there has been a break in certification of one or more weeks during which the claimant worked. Title 22, Section 1326-4(a)(2), provides that an additional claim shall be filed if:

  1. The claimant filed a continued claim or partial claim for a week in which he or she was ineligible for benefits pursuant to Section 1279 of the code due to excessive earnings from services performed in employment during such week. . . .
  2. The claimant was ineligible to file a continued claim or partial claim for a week because he or she was not unemployed, as defined in Section 1252 of the code, in such week.
  3. The claimant failed to file a continued claim or partial claim for a week during which he or she performed compensated services in employment.

An AC may not be filed if the claimant is:

  1. Under a disqualification for a fixed period pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1257 or 1261 of the code [SW or SD], unless he or she has appealed the disqualification or unless he or she is also subject to disqualification pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257 of the code [FS].
  2. Ineligible for benefits for an indefinite period pursuant to subdivisions (a) (IRR), (b) (NR), or (c) (A&A) of Section 1253 of the code or Sections 1253.3 (SCH), 1253.4 (ATH), 1255.3 (PN), 1255.5 (WC), 1256 (MC or VQ), 1262 (TD), or 1264 (AL) of the code, unless he or she has appealed the disqualification.
  3. Awaiting an eligibility decision by the department on a prior claim filed in the same benefit year or extended benefit period.

The AC would be filed after the disqualifying conditions have been met or an ALJ decision rendered.

D. Reopened Claims (RC)

An RC is filed on a valid UI claim with an existing balance, if there has been a break in certification of one or more weeks during which the claimant did not work.

An RC may not be filed if the claimant is:

  1. Under a disqualification for a fixed period pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1257 or 1261 of the code (SW or SD), unless he or she has appealed the disqualification or unless he or she is also subject to disqualification pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1257 of the code [FS].
  2. Ineligible for benefits for an indefinite period pursuant to subdivisions (a) (IRR), (b) (NR), or (c) (A&A) of Section 1253 of the code or Sections 1253.3 (SCH), 1253.4 (ATH), 1255.3 (PN), 1255.5 (WC), 1256 (MC or VQ), 1262 (TD), or 1264 (AL) of the code, unless he or she has appealed the disqualification.
  3. Awaiting an eligibility decision by the department on a prior claim filed in the same benefit year or extended benefit period.

The RC would be filed after the disqualifying conditions have been met or an ALJ decision rendered.

E. Partial Claims

Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1252(b), provides:

Authorized regulations shall be prescribed making such distinctions as may be necessary in the procedures applicable to unemployed individuals as to total unemployment, part-total unemployment, partial unemployment of individuals attached to their regular jobs, and other forms of short-term work. (Emphasis added.)

Title 22, Section 1326-8(b), provides:

A claimant who is a partially unemployed individual may, within 28 days after he or she has been furnished by his or her regular employer with the notice of his or her reduced earnings in any week as prescribed in Section 1326-7 of these regulations, file a first or subsequent partial claim for partial unemployment benefits at a Department field office by mail or in person as required by the Department. The 28-day period may be extended [for good cause]. . .

If an employer issues the notice of reduced earnings untimely to the claimant, the Department must still process the claim, subject to the rule expressed in Title 22, Section 1326-10(c):

A first or subsequent partial claim or other claim for benefits or registration for work shall not be valid if it is filed more than 13 weeks after the end of the benefit year (actual or potential) during which the week of partial unemployment or week of unemployment occurred.

A person may file a partial claim if during a week he/she meets all of the following conditions:

  1. He or she was employed by a regular employer.
  2. He or she worked less than his or her normal customary full-time hours for his or her regular employer because of lack of full-time work.
  3. He or she was continuously attached to his or her regular employer from the standpoint that there did not occur any severance of the employer-employee relationship.

A person may not file a partial claim if during a week in which he or she:

  1. Is receiving benefits under Section 1279.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code (Work Sharing)
  2. Has been laid off for a period in excess of two consecutive weeks or for two consecutive weeks during which he or she performed no services for the regular employer.

The advantage of a "partial" form, DE 2063, is the employee does not have to look for other work while partially employed and claiming benefits.

F. Continued Claims

The claimant filing a continued claim must provide information necessary to establish eligibility. The necessary information is identified in Title 22, Section 1326?6(b), which provides that the claimant shall certify to the following with respect to each week:

  1. That he or she was unemployed or working on a part-time or reduced earnings basis.
  2. The amount of his or her earnings for work, whether paid or not.
  3. Whether he or she was physically able to work full time each of the seven days in that week. If no, the number of days he or she was unable to work.
  4. Whether there was any other reason he or she could not have worked full-time each workday.
  5. Whether he or she did try to find work. If requested by the department, the date applied for work, the company name and address, the person contacted, the type of work applied for, and the results of the contact.
  6. Whether he or she refused any work.
  7. Whether he or she began attending school or training.
  8. That he or she did not have a change in address, or his or her new address if he or she has had a change in address.
  9. If he or she did any work during that week, the following:
    1. The employer for whom he or she worked, and the employers address.
    2. The number of hours worked during the week and the last day he or she worked.
    3. The reason he or she is no longer working.
  10. That he or she declares under penalty of perjury that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national; or an alien in satisfactory immigration status and permitted to work by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  11. That he or she is aware the law provides penalties for the commission of a misrepresentation of facts to receive benefits and that he or she is signing the application for benefits after the date for which benefits are being claimed.
  12. Such other information as the department may require.

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Benefit Determination Guide