COVID-19: Worker Resources

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COVID-19 main page

COVID-19 FAQs

Not sure what benefits you qualify for? Refer to the COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits Guide.

Did you apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI)? Learn about the next steps for your Unemployment Insurance claim.

Note: It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers. We appreciate your patience.

Latest News for Workers
  • The federal CARES Act has added provisions to expand unemployment benefits so we can help more Californians impacted by COVID-19.
  • The state now meets federal standards to maximize unemployment support from the federal government. This includes the Federal-State Extended Duration benefits extension, as well as adding an additional seven weeks of benefits to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
  • To better serve you, we are piloting a SMS text notification option for people to receive updates about their unemployment claim. We are beginning with a small group of customers and working to expand our text program. Text alerts are sent from (877) 324-1224 to the phone number you included on your UI claim. For more information, visit Text Alerts for Unemployment Claims.

Federal CARES Act Provisions

The federal CARES Act has expanded unemployment benefits for Californians impacted by COVID-19:

Federal funds are available to get you back to work quickly, including supportive services for basic needs, such as housing, child care, and transportation costs. For more information, visit COVID-19 Additional Funds for Workers and Businesses.

Claim Tips

  • The fastest way to apply for benefits is through UI OnlineSM. Be sure to review the final summary before you submit your application to make sure everything is true and correct.
  • To avoid processing delays, make sure to enter your Social Security number and date of birth correctly.
  • Before you complete your certification, review the certifying process (PDF) so you can understand the questions and answer them correctly. Answering questions incorrectly can delay your claim. For example, the first question asks if you were too sick or injured to work. We noticed some people answered “yes” for the whole week, which would disqualify them for benefits. When we followed up, they confirmed they weren’t sick themselves, but rather people are sick due to the coronavirus.
  • If you received an award notice that shows $0 in wages, you may still qualify for benefits. We may need more information from you to process your claim. If you think you were misclassified by your employer as an independent contractor instead of an employee, correct the wages and send it to the address listed on the notice. Visit Unemployment Insurance Benefits FAQs for more information.

Resources

Sick or Quarantined

If you are unable to work and able to provide a written certification by a state or local health officer that you are infected with, or suspected of being infected with, COVID-19, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

Telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

For guidance on the disease, visit the California Department of Public Health website.

Caregiving

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member and are able to provide a written certification by a state or local health officer that they are infected with, or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to eight weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

School Closures

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and our EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.

Reduced Work Hours

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can 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. If you are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with your employer within a few weeks, you are not required to actively seek work each week. However, you must remain able and available and ready to work during your unemployment for each week of benefits you claim and meet all other eligibility criteria. If you’re eligible, benefits can range from $40-$450 per week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, you may have benefits available from EDD employment insurance programs that you or your employer may have paid into over the past 5 to 18 months. You may have contributions from a prior job, or you could have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Apply for the benefit program that best fits your situation and include details about your employment to help us process your claim.

Visit Coronavirus 2019 FAQs and Self-Employed/Independent Contractor to learn more.