Denial of Benefits in California


A California unemployed individual can be denied unemployment benefits when he or she does not meet eligibility requirements. Applicants may wonder “what can I do if unemployment denied my claim?” When a claimant is denied unemployment, he or she can file an appeal with the Employment Development Department (EDD). An unemployment denial appeal must be filed within 30 days. The appeals office will notify petitioners of hearing where he or she will be able to present evidence. The appeals office will then issue a written decision.




The following sections outline further details:

  • Unemployment benefits compensation denied in California
  • Wrongful termination in California
  • Denied unemployment for eligibility issues in California
  • Unemployment denial appeal in California
Unemployment Benefits Compensation Denied in California

Getting your California unemployment compensation benefits denied can be due to being discharged from the previous employer for misconduct. For the purposes of unemployment insurance coverage, misconduct would include being under the influence of drugs or other intoxicants, including alcoholic beverages during work hours. An employer is not required to have a rule prohibiting drug and intoxication misconduct to dismiss an employee. Misconduct also covers other activities which are determined by the employer and labor laws. A petitioner will be denied unemployment when he or she has been found participating in illegal activities or other acts unbecoming of an employee, as set dictated by company policy. Normally, activities in which an employee participates during his or her off time does not affect his or her employer. Employees who use employer information outside of work can be let go for misconduct and denied unemployment benefits by the EDD.

Wrongful Termination in California

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is let go from his or her employer as a result of discrimination, harassment or retaliation from the employer. Certain cases will also include breach of contract by the employer. Wrongful termination in California is not a valid reason to be denied unemployment benefits. Discrimination from an employer that leads to a wrongful termination suit includes race, sex, religion, age and nationality. By law, an employee cannot undergo wrongful termination due to retaliation from his or her employer. An employee can have a case filed against the employer and the employer cannot legally retaliate against said employee leading to wrongful termination. Breach of contract resulting in wrongful termination does not constitute a claimant getting denied unemployment benefits. Unemployed individuals should apply for unemployment benefits after experiencing wrongful termination, but must be able to prove that they were let go in such a manner. The EDD will make the decision on unemployment eligibility.

Denied Unemployment for Eligibility Issues in California

A petitioner can be denied unemployment benefits when he or she does not meet eligibility requirements on his or her certification. Eligibility requirements are set by the EDD and must be met in order to receive benefits payments. A claimant can be denied unemployment for one week and be eligible the following week. When certifying for benefits, claimants must report work search activities. A candidate must also report any work performed and wages earned. Failure to do so will result in getting CA denied unemployment benefits, or in a reduction of benefit amounts dispensed. A claimant may have unemployment benefits denied when he or she is physically unable to work. Eligibility is also contingent on upon willingness and availability to accept suitable work. Claimants are required to certify for unemployment insurance benefits bi-weekly and meet eligibility requirements to continue receiving unemployment insurance payments.

Unemployment Denial Appeal in California

A claimant who has been denied unemployment has the right to appeal the decision with the EDD. The applicant must state in writing the reason he or she disagrees with the EDD decision. The letter must have the applicant’s name and Social Security number. An appeal form is required when filing an unemployment denial appeal. An appeal hearing will be set where the employer and the former employee will present evidence and testimony to support his or her case. The judge will come to a decision, which will later be sent to the corresponding individuals. A petitioner filing for unemployment residing in another state will be able to attend his or her appeal hearing over the phone. Disagreement with the administrative law judge would require a petitioner to appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. The Appeals Board will send a confirmation letter with options to proceed. The board does not take into consideration new evidence for CA denied benefits hearings, but applicants can ask to present new evidence within 10 days. The appeals board will come to a final administrative decision on an unemployment denial appeal. Applicants who still disagree with the final determination can file a Writ of Mandate with a Superior Court.