File an Unemployment Insurance Claim

En Español

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an employer paid program that provides partial income replacement when you become unemployed or have your hours reduced and meet all eligibility requirements. The following information will help guide you through the claim filing process.

When to File a Claim

File your UI claim in the first week that you lose your job or have your hours reduced. Your claim begins on the Sunday of the week you submitted your application.

If you filed a UI claim within the last 52 weeks and have not exhausted your benefits, you must reopen your claim to resume benefits.

Important: Waiting to file can delay your benefits. 

Information You Need to File a Claim

You will need to provide your personal information and your:

  • Last employer information including company name, supervisor’s name, address (mailing and physical location) and phone number
  • Last date worked and the reason you are no longer working
  • Gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work
  • Information on all employers you worked for during the past 18 months, including name, address (mailing and physical location), the dates of employment, gross wages earned, hours worked per week, hourly rate of pay, and the reason you are no longer working.
  • Notice to Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance, Standard Form 8 (former federal employees only)
  • DD 214 Member 4 copy (ex-Military only)
  • Citizenship status, and, if you are not a U.S. citizen, information from your employment authorization document

Tip: Use this checklist (PDF) to gather all of the required information before you start the process.

How to File a Claim

  • Online

    UI OnlineSM is the fastest and most convenient way to file your UI claim. You can file your claim though UI Online during the times (Pacific Time) listed below:

    Days of the Week Available Time
    Sunday 5 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
    Monday 4 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    Tuesday – Friday 2 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    Saturday 2 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • By Phone

    Representatives are available at the following toll-free numbers, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific Time) except on state holidays.

    English 1-800-300-5616

    Spanish 1-800-326-8937

    Cantonese 1-800-547-3506

    Mandarin 1-866-303-0706

    Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058

    TTY 1-800-815-9387

  • By Fax or Mail

    File your UI claim by accessing the paper Unemployment Insurance Application. For faster and secure processing, fax the completed application to the number listed on the form. If you mail your application, use the address on the form and allow additional time for processing.

What to Expect After You File Your Claim

You will be mailed important information about your claim and the UI program. Be sure to read and respond to all requests to avoid payment delays.

You will also receive a separate mailing with your first Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. You must submit this form every two weeks to request your benefit payments. This process, known as certifying for benefits, provides the EDD with information to determine your eligibility.

Certify for benefits through UI OnlineSM or EDD Tele-CertSM. Certifications submitted online or by phone are processed on the same day received. Eligible benefit payments generally appear on your EDD Debit CardSM the following day, including weekends and holidays.

Note: If submitting your certifications by mail, allow at least 10 days for processing.

Resources

For more information about the UI claim filing process and what to expect after you file, visit the following webpages:

Video: UI Online – File a claim

After You File:  Provides information about what to expect after you have filed your UI claim.
FAQs – UI Program:  Frequently asked questions about the UI Program.
FAQs – Eligibility Requirements: Frequently asked questions about the UI eligibility requirements.
Contact UI:  Still need help?  Contact us online, by phone or by mail.