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Collecting Unemployment Benefits in California

Apr 16, 2020 | CoronaVirus

Employees who are temporarily out of work due to no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, eligibility requirements, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details differ by state.

The following are the basic guidelines for receiving unemployment benefits in California. The Employment Development Department in California is the agency in charge of unemployment benefits (EDD).

Differences Between Regular Unemployment and COVID-19 Unemployment

The impact of COVID-19 does not require a person to have a layoff in order to receive benefits. Additionally, federal laws have changed in order to include those out of work due to the virus. Now, states can pay benefits in the following situations:

  • Unemployed as his employer temporarily ceasing operations due to virus
  • Has reduced hours at work due to the virus
  • Quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over
  • Has voluntarily left his work due to a risk of infection
  • Has voluntarily left his care for a family member

What Is the Income Time Period That Unemployment Benefits Are Based Upon?

In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet state income and time worked requirements over a set period of time known as the “base period.” In most states, your base period is a one-year period that includes the last four of the last five calendar quarters worked prior to filing your claim. When determining eligibility, your unemployment agency will most likely use a base period of these four full calendar quarters.

If you file an unemployment claim between January and March, your base period is January to September of the previous year, as well as October to December of the year before. The base period for claims filed in April through June is January through December of the previous year. For July through September clams, a base period of April through December of the previous year and January through March of the current year is used. Finally, claims filed from October to December have a base period of the previous year’s July to December and the current year’s January to June.

How Much Money Can a Person Get for a Reduction in Hours?

Employees whose hours have been limited may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits, which are typically a portion of the pay they would have did receive if they were fully unemployed. Employees who quit due to a significant reduction in hours or pay may be eligible for unemployment benefits as well.

According to the Employment Development Department, the first $25 or 25 percent of employee’s wages, whichever is the greater amount, is not wages earned and won’t be reduced from his UI weekly benefit amount.

Where Must a Person File for Unemployment Benefits in California?

The required information can be found here: https://www.edd.ca.gov/. Select “File & Manage a Claim” to apply for unemployment benefits. Through this link, a person can also learn about the appeals process, find current benefit amounts, eligibility requirements and more.

Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one are temporarily out of work due to no fault of their own, then you may be able to get compensation. If that is the case, contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review. Please feel free to give our office a call at 310-933-5171.