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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

About the Unemployment Insurance Program

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a federal-state program created to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for new work.

Unemployment Insurance is based on federal law, but administered through state law. Employers finance the UI program by tax contributions. In California, the Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the UI program according to guidelines established by the UI Code and the California Code of Regulations, Title 22.

Payments are made directly to the individual to help ensure that at least some of life’s necessities such as food, shelter and clothing can be met while looking for work.

The UI program benefits the individual and the local community. For the most part, UI benefits are spent in the local community, which helps sustain the economic well-being of local businesses.