COVID-19 and Your Unemployment – Answers to FAQs

Last updated: 10/01/2021 | En español | COVID-19 Main Page

Federal Unemployment Benefits Have Ended

Federal unemployment benefit programs under the CARES Act ended on September 4, 2021. You will no longer be paid benefits on the following claim types for weeks of unemployment after September 4:

Note: Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits are no longer payable for weeks of unemployment after September 11.

For more information, visit Federal Provisions for Unemployment.

We are experiencing a high call volume and longer wait times on our phone lines. We appreciate your patience and understand you have questions.

Here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we have received about COVID-19 and unemployment.

If you have specific questions about your claim, log in to UI OnlineSM and select Contact Us at the top of the homepage.

Top Questions and Answers of the Week

Federal unemployment benefit programs under the CARES Act ended on September 4, 2021. You will no longer be paid benefits on the following claim types for weeks of unemployment after September 4:

Note: Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits are no longer payable for weeks of unemployment after September 11.

The federal government does not allow benefit payments to be made for weeks of unemployment after these programs end, even if you have a balance left on your claim. Any pending payments for weeks of unemployment before the expiration of benefits will be processed retroactively if you are found eligible and did not receive conditional payments. Notices were sent about what to expect based on your claim type.

For updates, visit Federal Provisions for Unemployment.

The following federal unemployment benefit programs have ended:

The federal government does not allow benefit payments to be made for weeks of unemployment after these programs end, even if you have a balance left on your claim. Claim balances are calculated at the beginning of a claim or an extension program. They may not align with a program’s end date because of reasons such as claim activity or ineligible weeks. For example, we automatically transitioned those with expired PEUC claims to the FED-ED program, if they were eligible, because it lasted one week longer. That allowed for one extra week of benefits, but any balance left on that new FED-ED claim is not payable because the program ended. We will continue to process benefits retroactively for weeks of unemployment before the program ended and will pay claimants for any eligible weeks. Also, we will continue to accept new PUA applications until October 6, 2021, for weeks of unemployment before September 4.

You must reapply for a new claim if you earned enough wages in the last 18 months and are still unemployed or working part time. We will notify you when your new claim is processed. This usually takes two to three weeks.

  • If you’re unsure if you have enough wages as reported by an employer, log in to UI OnlineSM and select File New Claim. We will do one of the following:
    • Immediately tell you that you do not have enough wages to establish a new claim.
    • Provide instructions on how to submit a new application.

For more information, refer to the unemployment benefit calculator.

If you served in the military, worked for a federal government agency, or worked in a state outside of California within the last 18 months, you must reapply for a new claim by phone, mail, or fax.

You do not need to reapply if you did not earn enough wages in the last 18 months to establish a new claim. Visit Eligibility Requirements for more information. To learn more, visit Benefit Year End.

According to our records, you did not earn enough wages to establish a new claim.

Note: If you think you earned enough wages, but your employer did not report them to us, you can submit a new application by paper or phone.

According to our records, you did not earn enough employer paid wages to establish a regular unemployment claim.

Note: If you think you earned enough wages, but your employer did not report them to us, you can submit a new application by paper or phone.

If your claim status is pending, we may need to confirm your identity or eligibility before we can process payment.

If we need to confirm your eligibility, we will schedule a phone interview with you. For more information, visit Claim Status: Pending Payment or access the Claim Status Tracker at the top of your UI Online homepage.

Many people receiving unemployment are reaching the end of their benefit year. If your unemployment claim expired because your benefit year ended, you must apply for a new claim. If you do not, we will not be able to determine your eligibility or process payments, which can lead to a Pending claim status. To learn more, visit Benefit Year End.

If you received a Notice of Determination of Invalid Claim, Section 1277 (DE 429L) after applying for a new claim, this means you did not work or earn enough wages over the past year to qualify for a new regular unemployment claim.

For more information, visit Benefit Year End.

If you received a new debit card from Bank of America that you did not request, it could be because:

  • You recently submitted an application with a different name than what we had on file.
  • You verified your information through ID.me using a different name than what you provided on your unemployment application.

This change requires Bank of America to issue a new debit card to match the updated name we have on file. For example, if you provided the name “Mike Doe” when you first applied, but then verified through ID.me as “Michael Doe” later, we will update your records to “Michael Doe” and a new debit card will be issued for that name.

Important: Use your new card only. All funds from the old card will be transferred to the new card, and you will not be able to use the old one. No further action is needed.

Bank of America is sending chip cards to new claimants starting July 25, 2021. If you already have a debit card, it will be replaced with a chip card when it expires.

If your card has been lost or stolen, you must contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913).

If your card is damaged, you can order a replacement card online by visiting the Bank of America debit card website.

For more information, visit Debit Card.

We recently added information to UI Online to help you complete your certification. When you log into your account and begin answering your certification questions, you will see this updated information. This new text will help you understand how to answer questions correctly and avoid payment delays.

Note: These additional instructions are currently not available through UI Online MobileSM.

For help with answering questions correctly to avoid delays in payments, review the following:

If we have a question about your mailing address, we will contact you using the email you provided with your Benefit Programs Online account. The email will be sent from noreply.verification@edd.ca.gov. You will also receive an email instructing you to check your UI OnlineSM inbox or you may also receive a text message.

You must complete this process within 10 days or your claim may be disqualified. Visit Address Verification for more information.

If you received unemployment benefits you were not eligible for (known as an overpayment), we will send you a notice. It is important to repay this benefit overpayment as soon as possible to avoid collection and legal action. After receiving a notice, visit Benefit Overpayment Services to learn how to repay an existing overpayment.

If you want to repay these benefits before receiving a notice, review the following:

  • Benefit check not cashed – Return the original check to the EDD.
  • Benefit check cashed – Send a personal check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to the EDD.
  • Debit card – If the funds are still on your card, transfer them to your bank account and then repay them by sending a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the EDD.

Include a letter with the following information:

  • Name.
  • Mailing address.
  • Social Security number or EDD Customer Account Number (EDDCAN).
  • Week or weeks that the returned payment applies to.
  • Reason for returning the benefits.
  • Date you returned to work (if applicable).
  • Gross earnings for each week of benefits being returned (if applicable).

Mail the payment and letter to:

Employment Development Department – Overpayment Center
PO Box 66000
Anaheim, CA 92806

Note: If you return the overpayment, you will still receive a notice from the EDD.

Disability or Paid Family Leave Benefits

Learn what benefits are available if you are sick or caring for a family member.

Visit DI/PFL FAQs
Employers

Get information about the WARN Act and what EDD services can help navigate your business operations.

Visit Employer FAQs