Types of Claims

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program provides temporary payments to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet all other eligibility requirements. Visit the File a UI Claim page for more information on filing online, by phone, or by mail/fax. Below are the different types of UI claims that can be filed:

Regular Unemployment Insurance

These claims are based on wages earned from employers covered by the California UI Code and paid from the UI fund. The claim is based on California wages paid in specific quarters.

For information about expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Federal Provisions for Unemployment.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

These claims are part of the new federal provisions that help unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for state UI benefits. This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history who are out of business or have significantly reduced their services as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees

These claims provide unemployment compensation to former or partially unemployed federal civilian employees. A federal civilian employee may have worked for the United States Postal Service or the Internal Revenue Service. These claims are funded by the Federal government and are subject to regular state eligibility requirements.

Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members

This program provides unemployment compensation to former service members upon release from active military service. These claims are also funded by federal funds and are subject to regular state eligibility requirements.

Joint Claims

A joint claim is a claim using base period earnings of more than one type, e.g., federal civilian wages, federal military wages, and regular state-covered wages. These claims are based on both California wages and federal wages.


These claims can be filed in California against earnings from another state. For example, an unemployed New Yorker who just moved to California will file an "interstate claim."

Combined Wage

These claims are based on wages earned in two or more states.

Training Extensions

These claims provide eligible California Training Benefit (CTB) claimants with additional benefits beyond their regular claim. The CTB program allows eligible claimants who lack competitive job skills to receive their benefits while attending an approved training/retraining program.

Trade Readjustment Allowances

These claims provide additional federally funded benefits for workers who are eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program under the Trade Act of 1974. Before an individual can apply for TAA benefits or apply for a Trade Readjustment Allowance, the United States Department of Labor must certify that increased imports or a shift in production to foreign countries contributed to the worker’s unemployment. Workers must be enrolled in or have completed an approved training course in order to receive these benefits, unless the training requirement is waived.

Work Sharing

This program allows for the payment of UI benefits to employees of participating employers whose hours and wages have been reduced. These claims are considered an alternative to layoffs.


This program enables employers to retain trained staff during slow business periods. Employees are then available for full-time employment as business improves. Employers may use the partial program if employees are temporarily working reduced hours or have been placed on layoff status for no more than two consecutive weeks. Employees who are laid off due to lack of work for more than two consecutive weeks must claim benefits in the usual manner and meet regular UI requirements.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

This federal program provides financial assistance and employment services to dislocated workers and the self-employed when they are unemployed as a direct result of a major natural disaster.

School Employee Claims

These claims are for those individuals who work or provide services for a public or private non-profit school employer. A school employee (unless stated otherwise) is also a school supportive employee. These are employees who are employed by a non-profit or public entity employer and who provide services to, or on behalf of an educational institution.

School employee claims have distinctive eligibility requirements. For example, a school employee may not be eligible to receive benefits if all the following occur:

  1. A claim is filed during a recess period.
  2. Only school wages are in the base period of the claim.
  3. There is an offer to return to work for a school employer when the recess period ends.