Job Seekers: Returning to Work

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As California’s economy reopens, job growth continues. Starting July 11, 2021, most people on unemployment will be expected to search for work to maintain their eligibility for benefits. At the EDD, we can help you get back to safe and suitable work and meet the work search requirement.

Resources to Help You Return to Work

We offer job-search assistance at no-cost to help you re-enter the workforce.

CalJOBSSM

You can search and apply for job openings using CalJOBS. With CalJOBS, you can:

  • Create different versions of your resume for specific jobs.
  • Set up alerts for job openings and apply.
  • Find education and training programs, workshops, and job fairs.
  • Access job-market trends and data to support your job search.

Visit Labor Market Information for Job Seekers to find jobs that are in demand. Use the Occupational Guides and Occupation Profile to explore career opportunities.

America's Job Center of CaliforniaSM

America's Job Center of California (AJCC) offers services that bring employers and job seekers together. AJCCs provide:

  • Job search strategies.
  • Career coaching.
  • Resume and interview preparation.
  • Access to job fairs, training, and apprenticeship programs.

To find an AJCC and schedule an appointment, visit CareerOneStop's American Job Center Finder.

The Work Search Requirement

In the weeks following July 11, if you are required to look for work, we will mail you a notice explaining your specific work search requirements. The requirement to look for work begins when you receive this notice.

The requirement applies to finding suitable work that is safe to return to and is comparable to your skills, experience, usual occupation, and health. For more information, view Requirements to Look for Work (YouTube).

There are different work search requirements depending on your claim type:

  • Regular unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) Benefits
  1. Log in to UI Online.
  2. Select Claim Status Tracker.

View Claim Details section, it will display your Claim Type. Note: If you don’t have a UI Online account, you can find your claim type by reviewing paper notices, texts, or emails from the EDD.

No matter what claim you are on, participating in the work search activities below can help you answer Yes to the question, “Did you look for work?” on your certifications every two weeks. Answering No will lead to additional questions and possibly an eligibility interview to determine if you are eligible for benefits for that week. For additional help visit, Understanding the Certification Questions.

You may not be required to look for work if you don’t have childcare and you have explored all reasonable alternatives for finding childcare. However, to be paid unemployment benefits, you must still be available to work and able to accept work if you receive a job offer. If the reason you are unavailable for work is because your child’s school or care facility has been closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. The EDD will contact you if additional information is needed to determine your eligibility for benefits.

The Work Search Requirement for Regular Unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation

If you are required to look for work, you must do one or more of the following activities to be eligible for benefits. We encourage you to document your efforts.

We will notify you to make sure you’re aware of the specific requirements for your claim. Note: If you file a new claim for regular unemployment on July 11 or after, you must register on CalJOBS.

The Work Search Requirement for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was created to support those who did not qualify for a regular claim, such as the self-employed or small-business owner. 

We will be sending you a notice to make sure you’re aware of the specific requirements for your claim. You do not have to register on CalJOBS but doing so will give you access to valuable job training and networking activities.

Rebuild your business. This can include:

  • Efforts to get new or additional clients.
  • Marketing your business.
  • Reviewing current contracts or researching, preparing, or submitting a bid on a new contract.

Expand your network. This can include:

  • Attending networking events.
  • Participating in relevant workshops.
  • Efforts to expand your business beyond services typically performed.

Participate in training. This can include:

  • Enrolling in training or education courses that will help your business and don’t interfere with your ability to return to full-time self-employment.

Establish an account.

  • If you are an independent contractor who is available for work and performed work for an online platform, you can establish an account on another online platform to search for suitable work.

If you no longer want to continue self-employment, or were previously employed but not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, participate in work search activities for people receiving regular unemployment benefits to meet eligibility requirements.

Important: Depending on your pandemic-related reason for continued unemployment when certifying for benefits each week, you may not be available for work and will be exempt from the work search requirement for the week. For example, if you provide primary care for a child unable to attend school due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

We will determine if an exemption applies to you based on the information you provide each week.

The Work Search Requirement for Federal-State Extended Duration Benefits

Most Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) extension claimants are expected to look for work to meet eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits.

If you are required to look for work, we will mail you a notice explaining your work search requirement. Look for work each week by participating in at least three work search activities. If you contact potential employers, you must provide a record of those contacts when you certify for benefits in UI Online (using the Work Search Record screen) or on the back of your paper Continued Claim form (Section B).

Important: If you do not look for work as required, you will not be eligible to receive FED-ED benefits for the week you did not look for work, and you cannot be paid again on the FED-ED extension until you both:

  • Work in at least four separate weeks after the week your disqualification began.
  • Earn at least four times your weekly benefit amount.

You are required to keep a separate record of any other work search activities and present the information, if we request it.

Prepare for your job search. This can include:

  • Setting up an account and uploading your resume on CalJOBS.
  • Participating in employment services offered by the America’s Job Center of California.
  • Creating a profile on various job-search websites.
  • Registering with your union hiring or placement facility and meeting all union requirements related to job placement.
  • Watching videos on job-search topics like writing cover letters and interview skills.

Expand your network. This can include:

  • Letting friends, prior employers, or community members know you are looking for work.
  • Connecting with people on job networking websites and searching for jobs.
  • Participating in networking events related to suitable work.

Apply for suitable work. This can include:

  • Applying for positions with employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings.
  • Applying or taking exams for openings in civil service.
  • Responding to “want ads” or job openings.

Participate in permissible training. This can include:

  • Taking courses that help you gain employment and don’t prevent you from accepting full-time work, such as federal and state-funded training, computer literacy courses, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or courses offering certificates of completion.

Important: You do not have to search for work if:

  • You participate in state-approved training, including the California Training Benefits program.
  • You participate in an employer-sponsored Work Sharing program.
  • You have a definite job promise within a reasonable time.
  • You are on a temporary layoff due to inclement weather or another reason and will be returning to work within 30 days.
  • You have a specialized skill with limited job prospects, and you’ve exhausted your potential job sources.
  • Your labor market has been virtually eliminated because of a trade dispute.
  • You’re unemployed due to a seasonal shutdown in your industry with little chance of finding other work.

Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment Appointment

You may be contacted by mail about a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment. This appointment is designed to help you re-enter the workforce.

The RESEA program will help you meet all unemployment eligibility requirements and give you access to America’s Job Center of California. If selected to participate in the program, you must attend the appointment and complete the program’s services. Failure to do so may affect your benefits.

Additional Resources