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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Filing a Claim - The Claim Process

This section provides a step-by-step summary of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim process.

  1. Employers may provide a copy of the booklet, For Your Benefit: California’s Programs for the Unemployed (DE 2320) to employees who are unemployed. The UI Code, Section 1089 requires employers to provide the booklet.
  2. The individual files a claim for UI benefits using one of the following methods:
    • Access eApply4UI:
      Answers to questions are entered online. After the application is completed the individual submits it online to the Department. Note: This is the fastest way to file your claim.
    • Contact EDD by phone:
      Individuals will speak to a Department representative who will ask a series of questions and record the responses.
    • Complete a paper UI Application, DE 1101I:
      The application can be completed online and printed, or it can be printed and completed by hand. The application can then be faxed or mailed to the EDD for processing using the fax number or mailing address on the application.

    Note: To reopen an existing claim, use UI OnlineSM, the fastest and most intuitive way to reopen your claim. Access your UI Online account and select Reopen Your Claim and answer all of the questions.

  3. The Department representative files the claim and the following documents are mailed:

    To Claimants

    To Employers

    • Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed (DE 1101CZ)

  4. The EDD decides if a claimant is eligible to collect benefits. To make this decision, we conduct phone interviews with claimants, employers or their representatives and review statements submitted in writing.
  5. After we make a decision, we mail a Notice of Determination or Notice of Determination/Ruling (DE 1080CT) to claimants who do not qualify for benefits. We also mail a DE 1080CT to employers who respond in writing and within time limits about a quit, discharge, or other issues that may prevent payment of benefits.
  6. Employers or claimants who disagree with our written decision have the right to appeal the decision.
  7. Claimants certify for benefits by using their UI OnlineSM account, EDD Tele-CertSM or by completing and submitting the Continued Claim Form (DE4581), unless they are on a Partial or Work Sharing program, for each week they wish to claim benefits. The forms are usually for two weeks at a time and claimants must certify that they have met eligibility requirements for each week benefits are claimed.
  8. When the Department pays the claimant their first week of benefits, we mail the claimant their EDD Debit CardSM.
  9. After the Department pays the claimant the first week of benefits, we mail a Notice of Wages Used for Unemployment Insurance Claim (DE 1545) to the claimant’s base period employer(s). Base period employers may be charged for all or part of a claimant’s benefits.
  10. To ensure accuracy, base period employer(s) review the information reported on the DE 1545. The form shows the claimant’s identity, wage and employment information. The base period employer(s) use the DE 1545 to notify the Department about separation information and to correct errors on wages reported to EDD. The time limits for reporting separation information is 15 days from the date the form was mailed. Wage corrections must be reported within 30 calendar days from the date the DE 1545 was mailed.
  11. A Department representative reviews a base period employer’s response to the DE 1545 and decides if the employer’s account will be charged for the claimant’s benefits. The EDD mails a Notice of Ruling (DE 1080CT) to the employer who submitted separation information within the time limits. A favorable or unfavorable decision that is sent to a base period employer(s) does not usually change a claimant’s entitlement to benefits.
  12. A base period employer who disagrees with EDD’s written decision may file an appeal.

For more information about the UI claim filing process, review the following web pages: