by Dana George | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on March 26, 2020
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As more Californians lose their jobs during the COVID-19 outbreak, it's good to know how to access unemployment benefits.
It is not possible to know how many Californians will lose their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the numbers are expected to be high. If you need to apply for unemployment and are worried about your financial situation, here are some answers to questions you may have.
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In order to have unemployment benefits deposited each week into your bank account you must be:
Parents who miss work due to their child's school being closed may also be eligible for unemployment benefits or paid sick days during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must have earned a minimum of $1,300 in the highest quarter of your base period. You can also qualify with $900 in your highest quarter and a total of 1.25 times your high quarter earnings. A base period is defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before your claim.
You can file for unemployment insurance in California by phone on (800) 300-5616, by fax, by mail, or online. Filing online is currently the best way to receive a response in a timely manner.
You will need to provide the following:
Depending on your income history, your weekly California unemployment benefit will range from $40 to $450. You can get an estimate of your potential benefit using this calculator.
California normally allows unemployment recipients to receive checks for up to 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
You should file your claim as soon as you lose your job or have your hours reduced. While the normal one-week waiting period has been waived, claims are taking longer to process due to high demand.
If your unemployment claim is denied or you believe that you are entitled to additional aid, you can file a denial appeal. Appeals must be submitted in writing within 30 days of receiving the EDD decision. A hearing will be scheduled and you will receive notice 10 days in advance. You can then appeal the denial decision if necessary.
Being out of a job can be a stressful time. While unemployment benefits won't make you feel whole, they may help you get by until you land your next position.
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