How to Apply for Unemployment in California


Before filling out a California online application for unemployment, the petitioner is required to present the proper documentation. Information for the petitioner as well as the former employer is required. The Employment Development Department (EDD) will assign a representative to assess each CA unemployment EDD application and come to a determination of eligibility. A California unemployment applicant needs his or her personal information including: his or her Social Security Number (SSN), legal name, mailing address, phone number and a form of ID such as a CA driver’s license or ID card. For partial CA unemployment registration aid, the petitioner must state that he or she is still working, in addition to the number of hours he or she is working each week. The information that is required for the petitioner for employers over the last 18 months includes: name, address, phone number, wages and method of payment, and the period of employment. To file for an unemployment claim, a petitioner is required to disclose the reason he or she is no longer working for his or her previous employer, and whether the unemployed individual will receive severance pay or any other payments from the previous employer. The EDD stipulates that applicants be able and available to work, and have the legal right to work in the United States. Further information is provided in the sections below:

  • Where to register for unemployment benefits in California
  • How to apply for unemployment online in California
  • Where to sign up for unemployment in California
  • Unemployment registration in California
Where to Register for Unemployment Benefits in California

Applicants may wonder where to apply for unemployment in California. Candidates can file for unemployment online, by phone or using a paper application. The fastest and easiest way to apply for unemployment benefits would be online. Applicants answer questions and input requested data into the system, and it is submitted directly to the EDD. A phone application is conducted when a petitioner contacts EDD and speaks to a representative who records responses to a series of predetermined questions. A petitioner may wonder “How can I sign up for unemployment in California using a paper UI application?” A paper application can be completed by hand and faxed or mailed to the Employment Development Department. Paper applications can also be downloaded, filled out on the computer, printed and then mailed or faxed to the EDD.

How to Apply for Unemployment Online in California

Using the online EDD platform, an unemployment petitioner can file for an unemployment claim. Once the application has been submitted to the Department, a representative handling the case will conduct a phone interview with the claimant and former employers. The representative will gather all information, and in accordance with state and federal regulations, make a decision on eligibility for benefits. After a decision is made the claimant and the former employer will receive notice in writing. The decision for an unemployment EDD application can be appealed by the claimant or the former employer should they disagree with the outcome. The former employer’s account is charged for the petitioner’s benefits. The applicant will be issued a debit card by the EDD office where he or she will receive benefit payments.

Where to Sign up for Unemployment in California

Applicants can be curious as to where to sign up for unemployment. Aside from an online application petitioners have the option to file for an unemployment claim over the phone or by mail. Unemployment registration can be done over the phone by contacting an EDD office and speaking to a representative, who, after conducting an interview, will file the claim. The representative will also conduct an interview with former employers and come to a decision of eligibility. Former employers will be notified once an unemployment EDD application has been filed. To file for an unemployment claim using a paper application, applicants have several options. Claimants can complete the initial application on a computer and later print out the completed application. Using the mailing address and fax number provided on the paper UI application, he or she can then fax or mail the application. The other option is to print the paper California unemployment EDD application and fill it out by hand. Afterwards, the applicant can fax or mail the completed form. Follow-up will be conducted by an EDD representative in accordance with eligibility.

Unemployment Registration in California

After completing CA unemployment registration, a petitioner is required to certify for benefits weekly to continue to receive unemployment benefit payments. Certifying for benefits stipulates claimants meet EDD eligibility each week. He or she is required to properly record all required information such as work search contacts. Claimants can certify for benefits online, by phone or by mail. Any changes should immediately be reported to the Employment Development Department to avoid committing fraud or having benefits denied.