Unemployment Insurance Extensions in California

A California unemployment compensation extension can provide an unemployed beneficiary who has exhausted his or her regular unemployment insurance (UI) with additional benefits. Many CA enrollees wonder, “How can I extend unemployment payments?” when nearing the end of their claim. However, a California or federal unemployment extension is not available to each UI beneficiary who requests one. To receive an unemployment benefits extension, you must be eligible according to the state or federal governments’ requirements. To find out how to get an unemployment extension and who is eligible in California, continue reading the outlined topics.

Who is eligible for an unemployment extension in California?

Claimants wondering, “What can I do to extend unemployment benefits in California?” will need to learn about the eligibility requirements. In order to qualify for California’s unemployment compensation extension when available, you must have used up all your regular unemployment insurance benefits, as you cannot receive an extension if you still have unused benefits. After applying for unemployment, approved claimants will receive a summary of benefits, which will note when their benefits exhaust.

The federal unemployment extension eligibility requirements are very similar to the requirements for unemployment insurance. You must be actively looking for work and physically able to accept suitable work. You will be required to conduct regular weekly job searches and report your progress to the California EDD. If full-time work is not available, you may accept part-time or temporary work. If you are receiving extended unemployment benefits, you may be required to accept jobs that pay less or are in a different line of work than you would usually do, as long as it is matches your skill set.

Learn more about applying for California unemployment benefits in our comprehensive guide.

How can I extend unemployment in California?

Federal unemployment extensions are only made available when the state of California is experiencing extreme unemployment. You will not be eligible for unemployment compensation extensions at any other time. However, you may be confused about how to get a California unemployment extension when one is available. To get an unemployment extension, you do not need to do anything. If you are eligible to extend unemployment, the California EDD will send you a letter explaining that you qualify and for how long you will be able to extend your benefits. Remember, this type of unemployment extension is only available if the state is experiencing extreme unemployment, you have already exhausted your regular UI and you do not qualify for any other unemployment insurance claims such as disaster unemployment assistance.

When you receive notice that you are eligible for an unemployment extension, you should respond immediately. If you wait to act on your federal unemployment extension, you may lose your benefits, as they cannot be claimed at any time. If you have not heard from the California EDD and you are not certain whether you qualify for an unemployment extension, you may contact your EDD and discuss your eligibility to file an UI extension claim.

You may not ask for or apply for a federal unemploymentextension individually, as this is a statewide or countrywide mandated program. You may not request an unemployment compensation extension even if you have used up all your regular UI. The only time you may be eligible for an extension is when California is experiencing extreme unemployment, as defined by federal means and regulations.

To learn more about maintina UI benefits in California, download our free guide.

Past Federal Unemployment Extension in California

Remember that unemployment compensation extension is only available during periods of severe employment in California. Therefore unemployment extensions are not always available. Currently, California is not offering a federal unemployment extension. However, the Golden State has made unemployment compensation extensions available in the past. One example is a federal unemployment extension known as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation. It was signed into law in June 2008. The program was fully funded by the federal government and was designed to provide benefits to unemployed persons who had already depleted California’s regular unemployment insurance benefits. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation had four tiers:

Tier I: An extension of benefits for a maximum of 13 weeks to eligible persons. This program was expanded in November 2008 to provide up to 20 weeks.

Tier II: An extension of benefits for a maximum of 13 weeks. This tier was expanded to a maximum of 14 weeks.

Tier III: An extension of benefits for a maximum of 9 weeks.

Tier IV: An extension of benefits for a maximum of 10 weeks

In the future, unemployment compensation extension tiers may be removed or extended by the state of California. This will depend on the percentage of state unemployment rate during the federal unemploymentextension and how many people are eligible for an extension. Unemployment extension tiers will be removed as the unemployment rate gradually decreases. The federal unemployment extension may be cut off before the end of the tier week limit if the level of unemployment percentage for California has decreased.


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.