Register and Create an Account

File for unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance quickly and easily online. Follow these steps to register and create an account with Benefit Programs Online. Then, file a claim and manage your unemployment benefits with UI OnlineSM.

You can also file for unemployment by phone, mail, or fax.

Register to Create an Account

Creating an account is an important step as soon as you qualify for unemployment benefits.

Filing for unemployment begins with registering for an account. To file, you must register with Benefit Programs Online to create an account.

Once you have an account set up, you can start using UI Online when:

  • You receive a Welcome email saying you’ve been registered. Then you can begin using UI Online immediately.
  • You receive your EDD Customer Account Number in the mail. Once you have this, you can register for UI Online.

From Benefit Programs Online, select the UI Online button to file a claim for unemployment or to create and access your UI Online account.

Use UI Online to File Your Claim

Log in with Benefit Programs Online and select File New Claim to file for unemployment or apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online.

Get Your Information in Order

Review this checklist (PDF) or watch our video, UI Online: How to apply for UI Benefits (File a Claim) (YouTube) to learn what information you need.

Be sure to provide all employment information accurately and completely.

  • Check for spelling and be precise about your employer names.
  • Confirm your Social Security number and California Driver’s License or ID number.
  • Check that everything provided matches how you have it on your submitted tax forms.

Prepare to Apply

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.

Regular Unemployment

File for unemployment in the first week that you lose your job or have your hours reduced. Your claim will begin the Sunday before we receive your unemployment application.

  • If you filed for unemployment within the last 52 weeks (12 months) and have not exhausted your benefits, you must reopen your claim to restart your benefits. You can use UI Online to do this step.
  • If you have run out of benefits, you are unemployed, and your benefit year has expired, you will need to file a new claim through UI Online.

Federal employees and former military service members cannot file online.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

If you are a business owner, independent contractor, self-employed worker, freelancer, or gig worker who needs to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, follow the same steps to register and create an account as you would to file for unemployment.

Log In to UI Online to Manage Your Claim

Once you have filed a claim online, you can use UI Online to:

  • Get your latest claim and payment information.
  • Certify for continued benefits and report work and wages.*
  • Update your address and phone number.
  • Receive important notifications such as reminders to certify for benefits.
  • View in-person and phone appointments and reschedule a phone interview appointment.
  • View, print, or request a copy of your Form 1099G tax information from the past five years.
  • Manage any benefit overpayment you may have received.
  • Ask a question.

*You will be required to certify your claim every two weeks. You can complete this step on UI Online.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

You must first register for Benefit Programs Online to file for unemployment.

  1. Create your Benefit Programs Online account.
  2. Log In to Benefit Programs Online, select UI Online.
  3. Select File New Claim to apply.

You must first register for Benefit Programs Online to file for unemployment.

Once you create your Benefit Programs Online account, you can start using UI Online when:

  • You receive a Welcome email saying you’ve been registered. Then you can begin using UI Online immediately.
  • You receive your EDD Customer Account Number in the mail. Once you have this, you can register for UI Online.

Yes. You must first register for Benefit Programs Online to file for unemployment.

There are some exceptions. Federal employees and former military service members cannot file online.

The EDD Customer Account Number (PDF) is a unique, ten-digit account number we assign you.

Yes, you will receive an EDD Customer Account Number (PDF) whether you filed online, by phone, or by mail.

You will receive your EDD Customer Account Number in one of two ways:

  • Email: You will receive a Welcome email to your preferred email address on record.
  • Mail: You will receive a letter with your EDD Customer Account Number about 10 days after you file your claim.

Yes. You can file a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claim through UI Online, just as you would for regular unemployment. View all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs for more information.

View all UI Online FAQs for more information.

Last Revised: 08/12/2020

Access Your Account

Once you have an account with Benefit Programs Online, you can view the status of your claim, certify for benefits, and get up to date claim and payment information all on UI Online.

For Your Privacy and Protection

Phishing and scamming attempts come in many forms, including fraudulent phone calls. The most reliable way to know with certainty that you are interacting with us is to communicate through your UI Online account.

Additional Resources