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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

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:

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

How to File a Claim

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.


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.