Unemployment Insurance – After You Apply

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COVID-19 Temporary Exceptions

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we made the following temporary exceptions for all Unemployment Insurance claims until further notice:

  • Waiting Period – The 7-day waiting period is waived for claims beginning on or after January 19, 2020. After you submit your first two-week continued certification, you will be paid for the first week of your claim.
  • Work Search – You are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.

After you submit your unemployment application, there are important steps you must take to make sure your UI benefit payments are not delayed or denied.

Important Next Steps

Look for Important Documents from the EDD

You will receive these documents in the mail within two weeks of submitting your unemployment application:

Certify for Benefits Every Two Weeks

You must provide the EDD with eligibility information every two weeks. This process is known as certifying for benefits. You can certify with UI Online, EDD Tele-Cert, or by mail.

Report work and wages correctly while receiving UI benefit payments. Report any work you performed and wages you earned (even if you weren’t paid) every two weeks when you certify for UI benefits.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, you are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.

Pending Claim Status

If you have a Pending status for any weeks on your UI Online Claim History, we may need to confirm your identity or eligibility before we can process payment. Monitor your UI Online homepage for notifications.

Next steps include:

  • Respond to requests for identity verification
  • Prepare for a phone interview

For more information, visit Claim Status: Pending Payments.

Register for CalJOBSSM

You must add or update your resume in CalJOBS within 21 days of submitting your unemployment application unless otherwise instructed by the EDD. If you don’t, your UI benefit payments could be delayed or denied.

Watch How to Register for CalJOBS and Post a Résumé (YouTube) for more information.

Receive Your Benefit Payments

It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers.

When your first benefit payment is available, you will receive a debit card in the mail. Once you activate the card you can track, use, and transfer your benefit payments. Your card is valid for three years from the date it is issued and is used for all EDD benefit programs, so you should keep it until it expires.

If you received Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits on a debit card in the last three years, you will receive your benefit payments on that card. If your card has expired, a new card will automatically be sent to you once funds are available.

Note: If you were issued a debit card before 2015, you must request a new one. Visit Bank of America’s website or contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913).

If you lost your debit card, contact Bank of America as early as possible in the application process to request a replacement card before your first payment. Your new card will arrive 7 to 10 business days from the order date. You have a couple options to request a new card:

  • Visit the Bank of America website.
  • Contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913). You do not need to have your old card number or speak to a representative. Choose the Lost or Stolen option in the automated menu. The call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times and Bank of America is working to address the issue.

Note: Bank of America representatives cannot answer questions about your claim or pending payments.

Payment information is updated daily and is available through your UI Online account or by calling the UI Self-Service Phone Line at 1-866-333-4606.

For more information on the benefits of using your debit card, delivery, activation, tracking payments, expired cards, and more, visit Debit Card.

Additional Information

California Training Benefits

California Training Benefits (CTB) allows you to further your education, upgrade your skills, or learn a new trade while receiving UI benefits.

If approved for CTB, you will not be required to look for work every week and may also be eligible for additional benefit weeks while completing your training or education.

Previous Disqualification or Overpayments

A previous UI claim disqualification or overpayment may affect your new UI claim.

If you were previously disqualified, refer to your Notice of Determination/Ruling (DE 1080CZ) (PDF).

If you previously received an overpayment, refer to your Notice of Potential Overpayment (DE 1447) (PDF).

Residents Moving Out of State

If you move out of California, you must actively look for work and register for job search assistance with the local employment office in your new state within 21 days of submitting your California unemployment application or you could be denied benefits.