Register and Apply for Unemployment Insurance

Once you're eligible, your next step is to register and apply for unemployment.

Create an Account

It’s an important step to register for an online account with us. You can use our online services to report the information required for your unemployment claim.

Learn more about how to set up your UI OnlineSM account.

Get Your Information in Order

A little preparation goes a long way!

Review this checklist (PDF) to collect and have accurate and up-to-date information ready when you file an unemployment insurance claim.

Prepare to Apply

Timing is important. Waiting to apply can delay your benefits.

File for unemployment 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 for unemployment within the last 52 weeks and have not exhausted your benefits, you must reopen your claim to restart your benefits.

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.

Access COVID-19 Resources

Apply Now

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:

When you can file a claim with UI Online
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.

To file a claim or for payment information, 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

For general program questions or technical help, including registration, password resets, EDD Account Number, and how to use UI Online, contact us at 1-833-978-2511 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week, except state holidays.

Note: Representatives will not have access to your claim or payment information.

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. You can contact your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM for help with mailing or faxing a paper UI application. The fastest way to apply is still through UI OnlineSM.

Unemployment Insurance Application

Select one of the following UI applications that best describes your employment. If you have been affected by a disaster, complete the disaster section of the UI application.

Next Steps

There are important steps you must take so that your unemployment benefit payments are not delayed or denied. After you file, you will receive important documents from us within two weeks of filing for unemployment.

This moves you into the next stage to Certify for Benefits.

Certify and Manage


Let us know you are still eligible to receive unemployment.


UI Online is the fastest and most convenient way to file or reopen an unemployment insurance claim, certify for benefits, and get up-to-date claim and payment information.

Last Revised: 07/01/2020

Meet Your Eligibility Requirements

You must meet all eligibility requirements when filing for unemployment and certifying for benefits. View our list of requirements to file a claim.

Save Time. Apply Online.

Apply for unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, reopen an existing claim, and manage a claim – all online with Benefit Programs Online.

For Federal Employees

Complete and submit this application (PDF) to file for unemployment.

You must also submit the Standard Form 8, Notice to Federal Employees about Unemployment Insurance.

For Ex-Service Members

Complete and submit this application (PDF) to file for unemployment.

You must provide your DD 214 Member 4 copy.

For Employers

Additional Resources