How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance in California


You can apply for unemployment benefits in California if you are a resident of the state, and if your employment has been terminated, or if your hours have been reduced due to layoffs or company downsizing. The Employment Development Department (EDD) oversees where to apply for unemployment and the unemployment EDD application process. Unemployment registration will allow you to receive temporary benefits while you are transitioning between jobs. To file for unemployment, you must fill out and submit an application that includes a variety of required details. Continue reading below to find out what information you will need to file for unemployment, where to sign up for unemployment and how to apply for unemployment online.

Information Required to File for an Unemployment Claim in California

When you are ready to apply for unemployment benefits, you will need to gather some important information to help you fill out your claim. To make an unemployment registration, you will need to provide your current name and any different names you used while you were working, the address of your residence, your phone number and your Social Security Number. You will also need your California driver’s license or state ID card. When applying for unemployment benefits, you must also provide informaiton about the duration and scope of your job. If you are currently in part-time employment, then you will need to provide information about your position, including how many hours you work and the name and address of your employer. As you file for California unemployment, make sure that you have your employer’s name, address and phone number written accurately, because the EDD will need to get in touch with him or her. You will need to provide the names and addresses of all the employers you worked for during the past 18 months, the dates you were paid, the amount you were paid and how you were paid.

Your unemployment EDD application must include the reason you are no longer working for your last employer. When you file for an unemployment claim, you must state whether your employment was terminated because of downsizing, because you quit or due to the fact that you were fired. Fill out your unemployment registration with as many details as possible about the situation. If you were fired or left voluntarily, then you will be scheduled for a telephone interview. This will help the EDD decide if you are eligible for unemployment insurance. If you are currently receiving or expect to receive payments from a former employer, you must let the EDD know, because these payments may need to be deducted from your unemployment benefits.

Payments which may be deducted when you apply for unemployment benefits include salaries, pension payments, holiday pay or sick pay. When you file for unemployment, you will not be affected by severance pay. Even so, when you apply for unemployment benefits, you must report such compensation. You will also need to state that you are available to work, and you must prove your legal right to be employed in the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen but you are a legal resident, then you will be asked to provide your alien registration number.

To learn more about the details needed to apply for unemployment, download our comprehensive guide.

Where to Apply for Unemployment

If you are wondering, “How can I sign up for unemployment?” the fastest and easiest way to so is by filing an online application for unemployment. To apply for unemployment online, you can access the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a user-friendly system, and not only does it help reduce the common errors made with paper applications, it means your application will be assessed quicker. All you have to do is create an account at the California EDD website. You will be given a unique registration number. Log in, answer all the questions, provide all the necessary documents, and then submit your first claim.

If you wish to open an existing file for unemployment, simply log into your UI online account, and click on the “Reopen Your Claim” button. To re-apply for unemployment benefits, you will need to answer all the questions and provide the required information so that your case can be reviewed. You may also need to schedule a phone interview. Once you have completed the online form, you just need to submit it. It may take seven to 10 days to review your initial claim. To learn more about how to apply for unemployment online, download our free guide.

For those wondering where to register for unemployment benefits in CA other than online, you can do so by calling the California EDD and speaking with a customer service representative. Someone will be available to help you file for unemployment between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday, with the exception of federal holidays.

You may also file for unemployment or re-open a claim by using the EDD paper Unemployment Insurance application. If you want to apply for unemployment benefits by paper application, then you can call the EDD and request a form, or you can download and print one from the state website. Once you have completed the process to file for CA unemployment, you can mail it or fax it to the California EDD. Download our complimentary guide to review more information about UI application procedures.

What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.

What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.