Register and Apply for Unemployment Insurance
Once you're eligible, your next step is to register and apply for unemployment.
Create an Account
It’s an important step to register for an online account with us. You can use our online services to report the information required for your unemployment claim.
Learn more about how to set up your UI OnlineSM account.
Get Your Information in Order
A little preparation goes a long way!
Review this checklist (PDF) to collect and have accurate and up-to-date information ready when you file an unemployment insurance claim.
Prepare to Apply
Timing is important. Waiting to apply can delay your benefits.
File for unemployment in the first week that you lose your job or have your hours reduced. Your claim begins on the Sunday of the week you submitted your application.
If you filed for unemployment within the last 52 weeks and have not exhausted your benefits, you must reopen your claim to restart your benefits.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, we made the following temporary exceptions for all Unemployment Insurance claims until further notice:
- Waiting Period – The 7-day waiting period is waived for claims beginning on or after January 19, 2020. After you submit your first two-week continued certification, you will be paid for the first week of your claim.
- Work Search – You are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.
UI OnlineSM is the fastest and most convenient way to file your UI claim. You can file your claim though UI Online during the times (Pacific time) listed below:
|Days of the Week||Available Time|
|Sunday||5 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.|
|Monday||4 a.m. – 10 p.m.|
|Tuesday – Friday||2 a.m. – 10 p.m.|
|Saturday||2 a.m. – 8 p.m.|
To file a claim or for payment information, representatives are available at the following toll-free numbers, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time) except on state holidays.
For general program questions or technical help, including registration, password resets, EDD Account Number, and how to use UI Online, contact us at 1-833-978-2511 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week, except state holidays.
Note: Representatives will not have access to your claim or payment information.
File your UI claim by accessing the paper Unemployment Insurance Application. For faster and secure processing, fax the completed application to the number listed on the form. If you mail your application, use the address on the form and allow additional time for processing. You can contact your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM for help with mailing or faxing a paper UI application. The fastest way to apply is still through UI OnlineSM.
Unemployment Insurance Application
Select one of the following UI applications that best describes your employment. If you have been affected by a disaster, complete the disaster section of the UI application.
There are important steps you must take so that your unemployment benefit payments are not delayed or denied. After you file, you will receive important documents from us within two weeks of filing for unemployment.
- Review these Important Next Steps – After You File a Claim for more information.
- Give us your eligibility information every two weeks.
This moves you into the next stage to Certify for Benefits.
Last Revised: 07/01/2020