How to contact for California unemployment benefits

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Find below customer service details for California unemployment benefits. Besides contact details, the page also offers a brief overview of the state program.

Head Office
Employment Development Department
PO Box 826880 – UIPCD, MIC 40
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001
United States

Phone: 1-866-333-4606
Phone: 1-800-300-5616

About California unemployment insurance
When workers across California state lose their jobs due to economic conditions or pandemics like the COVID-19, they might be eligible for filing unemployment benefits claim. The state-federal joint Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was designed to help those without job for no fault of their own provided they meet all the eligibility requirements. Those unemployed due to a disaster will be also eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. A claim can be filed online, by phone or mail. The Employment Development Department (EDD) is responsible for overseeing and administering the insurance claims. Besides being out of work, the law requires that claimants be physically able to work and has been actively seeking for job.

Filing for unemployment benefits can be done online

New claimants can access the Unemployment Insurance application form on the website. When making a claim, note that you will need to furnish your social security number, alien registration number (for non-US citizens), recent employment and employer’s name and addresses. The name and details of employers you worked for during the past 18 months will have to be furnished. Use the UI benefit calculator on the website to estimate your weekly benefit amount. The EDD determines your amount by looking at work history and earnings during a one-year “base period”. The base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed claim. There are two types of base period – standard base period (first four of last five quarters) and alternate base period (last four completed calendar quarters).

For a valid claim, the law requires that you earned at least $1300 in the highest quarter of your base period or $900 in your highest quarter and total base period earnings of 1.25 times your high quarter earnings. Your weekly benefit amount  ranges from $40 to $450. After filing your claim through UI Online, you will get a reply if approved. To receive benefits you will need to certify every two weeks. Claimants can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks. The CARES Act extends that period further by 13 weeks. You can receive your benefits through direct bank deposit or debit card. As for those whose unemployment claim was denied, you can file for an appeal within 30 days of receiving the EDD decision. You can do same by signing into your account on UI Online. Meanwhile, job seekers can register on the CalJOBS website operated by the EDD for conducting job searches. You can apply for job openings, research employers and even find education and training programs on the job portal.

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