California EDD FAQ

California EDD Unemployment Insurance Benefit FAQ

The California unemployment website is very thorough it would benefit from having a breakdown of the items people are in need of finding out as easily as possible.

What is the phone number for CA Unemployment Office ?

The English phone number is 800-300-5616.

The Employment Development Department phone number is 1-866-333-4606.

The EDD also provides assistance in many other languages as well:

  • English 1-800-300-5616
  • Cantonese 1-800-547-3506
  • Mandarin 1-866-303-0706
  • Spanish 1-800-326-8937
  • Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058
  • TTY (non-voice) 1-800-815-9387

What is the fax number for filing your Record of Work Search form?

If faxing is an option then its listed on the official document you are looking at. If it does not have a fax and a hard copy must be sent in then it will provide the address on the document.

How do I apply for California unemployment insurance benefits?

There are many websites that will tell you they can help you out, but the only one that can is the California Government website.  Here is the link to the specific part of the website for this information: Check out the instructional video here.

How is my Unemployment payment amount calculated?

The State of California’s UI calculator can be found here:

What is the maximum amount of weeks for California unemployment?

Workers laid off will qualify for up to 26 weeks of unemployment.

*During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic the duration granted is 39 weeks.

What is the maximum unemployment benefit amount in California?

$450 per week or $900 per pay period.

March 25, 2020 – The US Government passed a bill that would allow for the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis an additional payment increase the top weekly payout by $600, so this may be a short term increase, and is a fluid situation.

Where can I find the latest COVID-19 unemployment information?

Check out COVID-19 pandemic for the latest updates on California Unemployment news and how it might affect you.

I am a small business owner or an app “gig” worker that is out of work because of non-essential business status can I file for unemployment?

Yes it appears as the COVID-19 pandemic created massive economic disruption the CARE Act allows that you can file for unemployment benefits, typically that would not be the case. If you are small business owner government forgivable loans may also be available through the Small Business Administration.

Do I have to pay taxes on my unemployment benefit?

Yes it is considered income and you will need to set up your tax withholding information for Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments. This also means that come tax filing season you will also need to collect your 1099-G form to submit with your IRS and California Treasury tax filings.

How do I Verify my identity with EDD so I can get paid?

How to Verify your information with California EDD

What is certifying with EDD?

Certifying with RESEA is when you call EDD Tele-Cert and answer all of the questions AND RESEA tells you your payout, and says goodbye and hangs up on you.

Can I certify for California unemployment insurance online?

Yes you can certify for California unemployment insurance UI Online and skip the phone call.

What is the EDD Tele-Cert’s phone number?

The phone number for EDD Tele-Cert is 866-333-4606.

What Hours can I call EDD Tele-Cert?

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How often do I call EDD Tele-Cert?

You need to call on your official EDD appointment date.  You may be able to certify for multiple available weeks in one call.

How long does it take UI to pay me after I certify for unemployment?

After you call to certify it will take typically 2 business days for money to get to your account.  This does not matter much if you are on the Debit Card or utilizing Direct Deposit.

Example if you call to certify on Friday, you should have money in your account by Tuesday.

There are exceptions to every rule, and I’ve been aware that it can take up to three full weeks for payment to process during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

How does the EDD pay me?

By default the State of California prefers to set up those collecting unemployment with a Debit Card for payments.  The other option is a Direct Deposit to your current banking institution.  The older method of paper checks that were mailed to your residence are now extinct.

Can I work a part time job while on unemployment?

Yes, you can work a part-time job to help pay the bills and not get disqualified from payments. Your benefit will be reduced by the amount that you earn except for the first $25 per pay period that is exempt.

What do you need to know after you file a UI Claim?

The EDD covered this nicely:

How do I figure out how many weeks I have left on my claim?

You can call EDD Tele-Cert to inquire, or register with UI online and get the status there.

Can I attend school or training while collecting unemployment?

Yes you can attend school or training.  In fact many unemployed people apply for California Training Benefits (CTB).  You will most likely have to fill out a form informing the state that you will be attending training, and will drop or reschedule classes if they interfere with a job offer.

Are there any private businesses that offer assistance or discounts for unemployed people?

Yes you can find a list of these businesses here.

Can I change answers after I made a Certification call?

To say yes is too easy, basically you are asked to review your questions and then you certify your final answers kind of like on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  To change your answers would require you to call the EDD as soon as you figure out that you made a mistake, or visit one of the PRO offices.

What about COBRA do you have some help there?

Yes we have a guide for COBRA here.

Do I need to pass a drug test to apply and/or certify with EDD?

Currently, no. While the Federal Government permits drug testing for unemployment benefits to be paid, California does not have this stipulation currently.

Do these answers apply to any other states besides California?

Possibly, we feel that most states have similar unemployment guidelines so this guide is a good approximation to how your state system works.  If you feel inclined to let us know how your state works send us an email at [email protected].  If you want to plug your own website or blog we’ll do that for you.

Did you miss anything relating to unemployment in California?

Probably, but you can feel free to inform us of new developments, errors, or tips to improve our guides by sending an email to [email protected] you can also do this by using our form above.  If that isn’t good enough for you feel free to leave comments for us.  We’ll post updates as often as we figure out new things but feel free to bookmark us and come back.  We have new posts up every week, in the mean time have a look around and support our sponsors.

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Any other unemployment tips for me?

Yes check out our unemployment checklist,it has a great starting point of areas to focus on as you get your bearings collected, money saving ideas, and resources for other benefits often for free.