Eligibility Requirements

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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 currently required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.

Access COVID-19 Resources

To receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments, you must meet all eligibility requirements when filing a claim and when certifying for benefits.

Requirements to File a Claim

When filing for UI benefits, you must have earned enough wages during the base period to establish a claim, and be:

  • Totally or partially unemployed.
  • Unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Physically able to work.
  • Available for work.
  • Ready and willing to accept work immediately.

A base period is a specific 12-month term the EDD uses to see if you earned enough wages to establish a UI claim. To learn how we determine your base period, review How Unemployment Benefits are Computed (DE 8714AB) (PDF).

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) ranges from $40 to $450. To get an estimate of what you will receive, use the UI Benefit Calculator.

For more information about how the EDD calculates a UI claim, review the following resources:

Weekly Benefits Certification Requirements

You must meet eligibility requirements each week that you certify for benefits. You must be:

  • Physically able to work.
  • Available for work.
  • Ready and willing to accept work immediately.

To request benefit payment, you must certify for benefits by submitting a certification online, by phone or by mail.

Certifying is the process of answering basic questions every two weeks that tells us you’re still unemployed and eligible to continue receiving benefit payments. For help answering these questions, visit Understanding the Certification Questions or review Unemployment Benefit Certification Question Information (YouTube). Answering questions incorrectly can delay your payment.

If the information on the certification shows that you did not meet eligibility requirements, we will schedule a phone interview to determine your eligibility. If you disagree with our decision to reduce or deny benefits, you may file an appeal.

Important: Most UI customers are required to register for CalJOBS and create an online resume that can be viewed by employers. You must meet this requirement within 21 days of receiving your Notice of Requirement to Register for Work (DE 8405) form. Failure to meet this requirement can result in a delay or loss of UI benefits. Watch How to Register for CalJOBS and Post a Resume (YouTube) for more information.

What Happens If You Quit or Get Fired

The EDD will schedule a phone interview to discuss your claim and circumstances. If you quit, you must prove good cause for quitting. If you are fired, your employer must prove there was misconduct. Either party can disagree with the decision and file an appeal.

If you do not receive a call from the EDD at your scheduled appointment time, we may have canceled your appointment because we confirmed your eligibility or resolved the issue before your interview. If your appointment has been canceled, it will no longer show in UI Online. Check UI Online for your current payment status.

More Information about UI: