FAQs – Unemployment Insurance

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The following can help with frequently asked questions about the Unemployment Insurance program. For more specific questions, visit contact UI.

Top Questions and Answers

The fastest way to apply or reopen a claim is through UI Online. You can also apply by phone or by mailing or faxing the paper application form. Allow additional time for processing.

Exception: The following claim types can only be filed by phone, fax, or mail:

  • Combined Wage Claims: Filed when a customer has had a claim either in California or in another state or has worked in two or more states (including California) in the last 18 months.
  • UI for Federal Employees: Provides benefits for eligible unemployed civilian federal employees and ex-military upon release from active service.

For more information, visit Filing an Unemployment Claim and watch UI Online: Reopen Your Claim (YouTube).

ID.me is a safe and easy way to verify your identity. When applying for benefits on UI Online, you will be redirected to the ID.me site, where you will take a selfie (personal photo) and upload a photo of your ID to verify your identity.

A list of the acceptable documents can be found at Register and Apply for Unemployment Insurance

Watch ID.me Tips to Verify Your Identity with a Trusted Referee (YouTube) and review Top Nine Reasons Your Document May Get Rejected (PDF).

You should log in to UI Online and see if you can upload your ID documents.

If you are unable to upload your documents, you can mail in your documents. You have 10 calendar days from the Mail Date on the Request for Identity Verification (DE 1326C) mailed to you to respond with your proof of identity.

To request more time, you must call 1-866-401-2849 or mail a request to the address at the top of the Request for Identity Verification (DE 1326C) mailed to you. We must receive your request within 10 calendars days of the Mail Date on the paper form.

For more information, visit Respond to Your Request for Identity Verification and watch How to Verify your Identity with UI Online (YouTube).

The fastest way to certify for benefits and get paid quickly is through UI Online. Payments often post to the debit card within 24 hours. For more information, watch Certify for Continued Benefits (YouTube).

You can also certify by phone using EDD Tele-Cert by calling 866-333-4606 and selecting Menu Option 2 to get started. First time users will need to enter their SSN, weekly benefit amount, and establish a four-digit PIN to use the system.

If using the paper claim form, you should mail the form to the address provided and allow 10 days for processing.

Visit Understanding the Certification Questions and review Unemployment Benefit Certification Question Information (YouTube).

You can log in to UI Online and select the Payments page to view your payment status. If it shows “Pending,” you can select the Claim Status Tracker button and see if any additional steps are required or if an eligibility determination interview has been scheduled. If you need to reschedule, you can reschedule for a later date and time.

For more information, visit Claim Status: Pending Payment.

After your first payment is authorized, you will automatically be sent a Bank of America debit card unless you indicate a preference to receive a check in the mail.

For your convenience, you can set notification alerts whenever a deposit is made or when you have a low balance.

You can contact Bank of America Debit Card Customer Service at 866-692-9374 for all debit card related matters such as balance inquiries and lost or stolen cards.

Detailed payment information is available in UI Online. All payment history is available under History. You can also get information on your last payment made by calling the UI Self-Service Phone Line at 866-333-4606 and selecting Menu Option 2 to get started. 

For more information, watch View Detailed Payment Information Using UI Online (YouTube).

You can find most of your answers or complete most tasks on your own through UI Online. You can certify for benefits, check payment information, reopen an existing claim, update contact information, reschedule an eligibility phone interview, and send a secure message to UI agents.

There are many helpful UI Online videos available to guide you step-by-step, with many available in multiple languages.

You have the legal right to appeal any decision made by the EDD that negatively impacts your benefits. If you have been disqualified, you will receive written notification in the mail stating the reasons why. An Appeal Form (DE 1000) will be provided, and you have 30 days from the mail date to file a timely appeal.

For more information regarding the appeals process, visit Unemployment Insurance Appeals.

You can reset your Benefit Programs Online password following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Benefit Programs Online login page.
  2. Enter email.
  3. Select, I’m not robot.
  4. Complete the security check (reCAPTCHA).
  5. Select Log In.
  6. Select Forgot Password to begin the process of setting new password and follow all instructions.

Note: If you cannot remember the answers to your security questions, you will need to contact UI at 800-300-5616, available daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, except state holidays.

The following federal unemployment benefit programs have ended:

You cannot appeal the end of federal unemployment benefits. If you were receiving benefits from one of these programs before September 11, 2021, you were sent a notice about the end of the program (DE 6331EN-[Program Name]). This notice states at the bottom, “This notice cannot be appealed and there is no need to contact us.

The last date payable for federal unemployment benefit programs is determined by federal law in the CARES Act, as amended by the American Rescue Plan. Federal law does not allow the EDD to pay federal unemployment benefits after the end of these programs.

Claimants

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