FAQ - Collecting Benefits

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Benefits are paid after a claim has been filed and all eligibility requirements have been met. To be entitled to benefits an individual must be:

  • Out of work due to no fault of their own.
  • Physically able to work.
  • Actively seeking work.
  • Ready to accept work.

Benefit payment information is available using our automated telephone system. You will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access your information. You create your PIN using the automated telephone system.

Payment information is available Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (All times are Pacific Time.)

If you have not received your payment or any response from the EDD within 10 days of certifying via UI OnlineSM, EDD Tele-CertSM or by mailing your Continued Claim Form, DE 4581, contact EDD.

See the EDD Debit CardSM page for more information about UI electronic benefit payments.

Payments are issued after a correctly completed certification is submitted online through UI OnlineSM, by phone through EDD Tele-CertSM, or by mailing a Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. Claimants certify for UI benefits through the EDD every two weeks. If all eligibility requirements are met, a benefit payment will be issued.

See the EDD Debit CardSM page for more information about UI electronic benefit payments.

The EDD is currently issuing benefit payments using the Visa branded EDD Debit CardSM. Customers can choose the option of a direct deposit transfer of their funds from their card to their personal checking or savings account once their EDD Debit CardSM is received and activated.

For more information about setting up a direct deposit transfer, see the FAQ – The EDD Debit CardSM page.

Yes, the Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 provides for federal taxation on UI benefits. Claimants may voluntarily request that EDD withhold 10 percent of weekly benefits for federal taxation of UI benefits. This voluntary withholding request is contained in question seven on the Continued Claim Certification, DE 4581. The voluntary withholding request must be made each week that the claimant wishes to have federal taxes withheld from benefits.

The fastest way to reopen your claim is with UI OnlineSM.

You may also reopen your claim by calling our toll-free phone number or by accessing the paper Unemployment Insurance Application. For faster and more secure processing, fax the completed application to the number listed on the form. If you decide to mail your application, use the address on the form and allow additional time for processing.

The process for reopening your claim is the same process used to file a new claim. A new or reopened claim takes effect the Sunday of the week you contact the Employment Development Department (EDD). This means you must contact the EDD during the first week you want to claim benefits. You can reopen your claim any time during your 52-week benefit year for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims. If your benefit year has ended, you must apply for a new claim.

If you stop filing your weekly claims (even for one week), your UI claim becomes inactive. If you want to start claiming again, you must first reopen your claim by re-applying for UI benefits.

Discontinue mailing your Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. If the Department doesn't receive a claim form from you we will assume you have returned to work, or no longer wish to claim benefits. It is not necessary to contact the Department to stop your benefit payments.

Leaving your DE 4581 at an EDD site will delay your payment. This happens because the form will have to be sent to the appropriate EDD site for payment which will add an additional one to three days to the mailing time.

Mail your DE 4581 using the envelope provided. It is the fastest and easiest way to receive your benefit check.

Severance pay is not deducted from unemployment insurance benefits and does not affect your eligibility to receive benefits. The method of payment, such as a lump sum payment or payments paid to you at regular pay period intervals does not change the nature of the payment. However, you must report severance pay at the time you file your unemployment insurance claim.

In-lieu-of-notice pay is deducted from unemployment insurance benefits. A payment is generally considered to be in-lieu-of-notice pay if an employer has a plan or policy that provides for advance notice of a layoff or payment when no notice is given.

The Department will allocate your in-lieu-of-notice pay to the notice period. If appropriate, we will deduct the pay from your benefits if you are claiming benefits during the notice period.

Vacation pay or holiday may be deducted from your benefits. It will depend on whether or not you have been given a definite date to return to work at the time you were placed on layoff status:

  • If you are not given a definite date to return to work, any vacation pay or holiday pay paid to you when your job ends is not deducted from your weekly benefit amount.
  • If you are given a definite date to return to work, any vacation or holiday pay for the period of the temporary layoff is deductible from your benefits. The Department will allocate vacation and holiday pay as follows:
    • Vacation pay will be allocated to the number of days you requested vacation or to the number of days your employer required you to use as vacation during the temporary layoff.
    • Holiday pay that is paid before you return to work will be allocated to the week(s) in which the holiday(s) fall. Holiday pay that is paid after you return to work will be allocated to the week that you return to work.

Residual payments are additional payments made to an individual for the reuse or resale of recorded material. The Department considers residual payments to be wages since they are compensation for personal services. Some other terms used for this type of payment are use, reuse and rerun payments or fees.

Individuals may receive residual payments for recorded material such as:

  • television programs or commercials
  • films
  • video disks
  • video tapes
  • phonograph records
  • audio tapes
  • audio disks

Holding fees are payments made to an individual with respect to the filming of a commercial. It is separate from the compensation paid for the hours or days of actual work performance. Holding fees are usually paid at the beginning of each cycle during which the commercial will be used.

The Department considers holding fees to be wages since they are compensation for personal services.

If you are claiming unemployment insurance benefits, you must report residual payments or holding fees on your bi-weekly Continued Claim Form, DE 4581. Provide the following information on the DE 4581 or attach a separate sheet of paper to the form:

  1. Name and address of the employer who paid the payment/fee
  2. Gross amount of the payment/fee before any deductions
  3. Type of payment - such as “residual payment,” “reuse fees,” or “holding fees”
  4. Date you received the payment/fee

You must report the residual payment or holding fee when you receive the payment. We consider the payment/fee to have been received by you during the week in which one of the following occurs:

  1. The payment/fee is personally given to you.
  2. Your talent agent, union, etc. notifies you (verbally or in writing that a payment/fee has been paid to you.
  3. The payment/fee is deposited or credited to your account in a financial institution.
  4. The payment/fee is delivered to your home or mailing address.
  5. The payment/fee is delivered to your business manager, accountant, or any other person you have designated to handle your financial affairs, or you have authorized to retain or use the payment/fee to pay your financial obligations.

To learn more about the unemployment insurance law concerning residual payments and holding fees, review the Benefit Determination Guide.

Please remember that failure to report residual payments or holding fees when received may result in an overpayment. You can be held financially responsible for such overpayments.

Please contact EDD if you need help with reporting residual payments or holding fees.

A UI claim was filed and benefits paid using your social security number. Benefits should not have been paid and an overpayment occurred. The income tax refund is being taken to repay this overpayment. If you did not file a UI claim contact the Department immediately. A fraudulent UI claim may have been filed using your identity information.