Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in California


Qualifications for unemployment in California are essential for all potential beneficiaries to meet prior to application. Who qualifies for unemployment in CA is determined by the Employment Development Department (EDD). Your eligibility for unemployment benefits in California will require you to meet certain conditions. If you are wondering, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” then it is important to do thorough research prior to filing your first claim. You will find information below on how to qualify for unemployment in California, who’s eligible for unemployment insurance and how to continue claiming Unemployment Insurance (UI) to keep up with receiving your due payments each week.


What are the requirements to get unemployment in California?

Your eligibility for unemployment can only be deciced by officials at the EDD who review your initial claim, once it is filed. To meet unemployment insurance eligibility requirements, you must match the below criteria.

  • Past earnings: The qualifications for unemployment require that your earnings meet certain minimum thresholds. The EDD will examine your recent work records to determine a 12-month “base period.” This period is typically counted as the first four quarters of the last five-quarter calendar period. During this time, you must have met the EDD minimum earning requirements. Download our free guide to review more information on base periods.
  • Reason for Unemployment: Toqualify for unemployment,you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. If you were laid off because your company is downsizing, then you will be eligible for unemployment. You may also qualify for unemployment if your position was terminated because you did not have the skills to perform the job. However, if you are fired because of misconduct, then you will not be able to learn how to apply for unemployment insurance in California. You will also not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job – unless you can provide a valid reason for quitting, for example, harassment, discrimination, employer fraud or unsafe working conditions. In these circumstances, you will be able to claim unemployment insurance, provided you can prove that you previously discussed the issue with your employer, and that it was not resolved.
  • Availability: To maintain youreligibility for EDD, you must be physically able to work and readily available to accept a job. Unemployment insurance eligibility also requires that you actively look for a job. You cannot contrive your qualifications for unemployment; if you are offered a suitable job, you must accept it. While you are receiving unemployment benefits, you must be seeking work on a regular basis. You will have to certify on your benefits claim that you are doing so. You should keep records of all the employers you have been in touch with and the dates you contacted them. You may be asked to provide this information for the EDD.

You may still be eligible for unemployment if you quit or if you were fired from your job, and you apply for assistance. In order to determine your unemployment insurance eligibility, you will be scheduled to be present during a phone interview. The EDD interviewer will request information from you and your employer, and will then decide if you are eligible to collect benefits. Either party may disagree with the EDD’s decision, and may request an appeal hearing.

How to Maintain Your Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in California

To maintain your unemployment insurance eligibility, every two weeks, you will have to fill out a Continued Claim Form and file it with the EDD, either online or by mail. The unemployment eligibility form will include questions about if you have been able to look for work, how and where you did so and if you were able to find a job. Under the EDD’s unemployment eligibility regulations, you will also be required to fill in a record of your job searches and which positions you’ve sought. If you find temporary or part-time work while you are claiming unemployment, then you will need to let the EDD know about the small amount of income you have earned. Even if you received no income, you will still be required to report the number of hours you worked and for whom you worked. If you do not report this information, then you are liable to be charged with fraud, and you will face legal action. You should be sure to read the form carefully, so you know exactly how to report your income.

Unemployment Insurance Eligibility and Training Benefits in California

If you are eligible for unemployment, then you may also qualify for training benefits. While unemployment benefits help you financially, training benefits enable you to further your education, enhance your skills or learn a completely new trade to give you a better opportunity in the job market. If you are approved for training benefits, you will not be required to actively seek work or to accept job offers, as long as you attend your training on a regular basis. In certain circumstances, you may also be eligible for additional weeks of benefits while you are completing your training. Although the EDD does not fund any tuition fees or related expenses such as books, transportation or supplies, the state of California does have employer programs that fund this type of training.

To learn more about your qualifications for unemployment, download our comprehensive guide.

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.