Skip to Main Content
Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Understanding the Continued Claim Certification Questions

By certifying for UI benefits, you are declaring by law that you meet the eligibility requirements to be paid UI benefits.

For faster processing, certify using UI OnlineSM. This service offers customers more certification options than ever before. You can certify for continued benefits even when attending school or training, reporting work and wages, and when updating your contact information. You may also certify by phone using EDD Tele-CertSM.

Certification Questions Tables

Table 1 - Questions 1 - 6
Question Answer “Yes” If Answer “No” If Details
1. Were you too sick or injured to work?

If yes, enter the number of days (1 through 7) you were unable to work.
You would have been unable to work due to illness or injury. Or, you had to delay starting a new job because of illness or injury.

If you are unable to work the entire seven-day week, you will be scheduled for an eligibility interview.
You were physically able to work every day of the week if you had a job, or were going to start a new job. Unemployment benefits are paid according to the number of days you would have been able to work during this week. Your benefits are reduced one-seventh for each day you cannot work due to an illness or injury.
2. Was there any reason (other than sickness or injury) that you could not have accepted full-time work each workday? You are not immediately available to accept work for any reason, such as lack of child care or transportation, or you were taking care of an ill family member. If you are not available for work, you will be scheduled for an eligibility interview. You are ready and willing to accept work that matches your occupational skills and educational background. If offered a job, there is nothing that would prevent you from accepting that job. Unemployment benefits are paid if you are available to accept full-time work. There are certain conditions when you may limit yourself to part-time work and still be paid benefits. If so, you will receive further information from the EDD.
3. Did you look for work? You looked for work this week. Looking for work includes contacting employers about a job in-person, by mail, by telephone, or on the Internet. It also includes searching the Internet, newspapers, or other publications for jobs, and contacting prior employers about job openings, etc.

Union members should answer “yes” to this question if you are registered with your union and meet your union’s reporting and dispatch requirements.
You did not contact any employers, submit any applications, or search for job openings during the entire week.

Union members should answer “no” to this question if you are not registered with your union and/or are not meeting your union’s reporting and dispatch requirements.

Failure to look for work each week may result in the denial of benefits.
Unemployment benefits are paid when you follow the work search instructions on the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award, DE 429Z.

If you choose to certify by paper and the box under Question 3 on the paper Continued Claim is marked with an "X,” you are required to list your job contacts on the back of the form.
4. Did you refuse any work? You refused an offer of work from any employer during this week. If you are a union member and you refused a union referral to a job, answer “yes.”

If you refused an offer of work, you will be scheduled for an eligibility interview.
You did not refuse any offers of work this week. This means you did not receive an offer of work or you received an offer and accepted it. Unemployment benefits are paid when you do not refuse an offer of work that is suitable for your occupation and educational background.
5. Did you begin attending any kind of school or training? You began attending school or training this week. Only answer “yes” if you started a new term or a new class during this week. If you are not available for full-time work because you are attending school or training, you will be scheduled for an eligibility interview or you will be mailed a questionnaire to complete and return. You did not begin attending any kind of school or training. Unemployment benefits are paid when you are available to accept full-time work, regardless of whether you are attending training.

Only report school or training during the week you actually started attending.

Use UI Online or EDD Tele-Cert to report school or training.  If you are attending training that is approved by the EDD, you are no longer required to obtain a signature from a training provider or an authorized representative on Section C of the back of the continued claim form.

For examples on how to complete this question, visit How to Report School or Training.
6. Did you work or earn any money, WHETHER YOU WERE PAID OR NOT? You performed work during the week or earned any money. All earned money or income is considered wages. All work and wages must be reported, even if you have not collected payment from the employer. Report your work and wages during the actual week when you worked and earned the wages—NOT when you receive your pay. You did not work this week and you did not earn any money.

Do not enter information on item 6a or 6b.
Instead of mailing in your paper form, use UI Online to report work and wages electronically. If you use EDD Tele-Cert, you must complete and mail the paper form and complete items 6a and 6b.

For examples on reporting work and wages, visit How to Report Work and Wages.

For answers to frequently asked questions about work and wages, visit FAQs - Reporting Work and Wages.

For more information on the types of wages to report and how to report your wages, check out our video Report Wages and Regular Earnings on UI Online.

Table 2 - Questions 6a - 8
Question Instructions
6a. Enter earnings before deductions here. Instead of mailing in your paper form, use UI Online to report work and wages electronically. If you use EDD Tele-Cert, you must complete and mail the paper form.

Enter any earnings before taxes (gross earnings prior to payroll deductions). If your earnings are $1,000.00 or more in a week, enter $999.99 in the boxes on the paper form. If you do not know your gross earnings, contact your employer to obtain the amount earned for the week(s) on your Continued Claim Form (DE 4581). If your payroll weeks are different than the weeks that the EDD has issued, the EDD suggests you keep a record of work and the wages earned for each day in order to correctly report work and wages under the appropriate week on your DE 4581. In most situations, you can calculate the amount by multiplying the hours worked by your hourly wage. For example, if you worked 10 hours and are paid $12 per hour, your weekly earnings should total $120.00. You must also report other types of income received, such as pensions, back pay, in-lieu-of-notice pay, or other income. Look at the date each week begins and ends. Make sure your answers in 6a apply to only the weeks shown.

If you are unsure of how to compute your gross earnings, refer to the UI handbook, A Guide to Benefits and Employment Services, DE 1275A. You can order the handbook online by visiting Online Forms and Publications. If you misreport your earnings, contact the EDD immediately as you may be subject to fines and penalties if you are overpaid benefits. If you are working part time, you may be able to receive reduced unemployment benefits even if your earnings are higher than your weekly benefit amount. The EDD will calculate the amount to deduct and the amount you are eligible to receive.
6b. Report employment or source of earnings information. Enter the last day worked and employment information or the source of your earnings (e.g., severance, in-lieu-of-notice pay, residuals, etc.). Look at the date each week begins and ends. Make sure your answers in 6b apply to only the weeks shown. If you worked for more than one employer during the same week, be sure to list the last day you physically worked during the week and the name and address of the last employer you worked for during the week. If you are still working, write “still working.”
7. Federal income tax
(Optional)
If you want federal income taxes withheld for the week(s) shown, indicate your choice.

If you do not want federal income taxes withheld leave the corresponding area blank or answer “No” if certifying by phone. Your choice for federal income tax withholdings remains in effect until your next certification period.

8. Change of mailing address or phone number (Optional) Instead of mailing in your paper form, use UI Online to certify for  benefits and to update your contact information in your personal profile.  If you use EDD Tele-Cert, you must complete and mail the paper form.