COVID-19: Worker Resources

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COVID-19 FAQs

Did you apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI)? Learn about the next steps for your Unemployment Insurance claim.

Note: It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers. We appreciate your patience.

Latest News for Workers
  • Not sure what benefits you qualify for? Refer to the COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits Guide.
  • Federal funds are available to get you back to work quickly, including supportive services for basic needs, such as housing, child care, and transportation costs. For more information, visit COVID-19 Additional Funds for Workers and Businesses.
  • To better serve our customers, the EDD is piloting a SMS text notification option for individuals to receive updates about their unemployment claim. We are beginning with a small group of customers and working to expand our text program. Text alerts are sent from (877) 324-1224 to the phone number you included on your UI claim. For more information, visit Text Alerts for Unemployment Claims.

  • The EDD launched a new call center operation to assist customers. Call 1-833-978-2511 seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., if you need technical help with accessing UI OnlineSM, help with receiving an EDD Customer Account Number, and other general UI questions. Representatives will not have access to your claim or payment information. UI Online is the still the fastest way to file a claim. For help with a claim or payment information, call 1-800-300-5616.

  • The EDD is paying an additional $600 on top of your current weekly benefit amount with the extra money coming from the federal government as part of the federal CARES Act. Here’s what you need to know:
    • Claimants do not need to do anything to receive this extra funding. The EDD will automatically add the full $600 to each week of current benefits that are paid every two weeks, as long you are eligible for at least $1 in a regular payment each week.
    • For someone receiving the most recent average Unemployment Insurance payment of $340 a week, a usual biweekly payment would equal $680. With the extra payment, that biweekly payment would increase to $1,880.
    • The first week the additional payments can be made is for the week ending April 4, not before. Separate retroactive payments will be automatically issued soon to those who had an active claim that week, and the $600 extra payments can continue to those who remain impacted and otherwise eligible for benefits through the week ending July 31, 2020.

Claim Filing Tips

  • If you’re self-employed, visit the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance page for more information on this new federally funded program.
  • If you received a UI award notice that shows $0 in wages, you may still qualify for benefits. We may need more information from you to process your claim. Visit the Unemployment Insurance Benefits section of the Coronavirus 2019 FAQs for more information.
  • For faster processing, read Howto Set Up a UI Online Account (DE 2338H)(PDF) or view UI Online videos for how to register, file or manage a claim, report your wages andmore.
  • For help completing the application, call your local America’s Job Center ofCaliforniaSM to schedule a phone appointment with an EDD representative. They can also help with mailing or faxing a paper UI application. The fastest way to apply is still through UI OnlineSM.

Sick or Quarantined

If you are unable to work and able to provide a written certification by a state or local health officer that you are infected with, or suspected of being infected with, COVID-19, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

Telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

For guidance on the disease, visit the California Department of Public Health website.

Caregiving

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member and are able to provide a written certification by a state or local health officer that they are infected with, or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

School Closures

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and our EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.

Reduced Work Hours

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. If you are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with your employer within a few weeks, you are not required to actively seek work each week. However, you must remain able and available and ready to work during your unemployment for each week of benefits you claim and meet all other eligibility criteria. If you’re eligible, benefits can range from $40-$450 per week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, you may have benefits available from EDD employment insurance programs that you or your employer may have paid into over the past 5 to 18 months. You may have contributions from a prior job, or you could have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Apply for the benefit program that best fits your situation and include details about your employment to help us process your claim.

Visit Coronavirus 2019 FAQs and Self-Employed/Independent Contractor to learn more.