Completing unemployment benefits application form with placeholder name, shot with macro probe lens
  • Posted By Sirmabekian
  • 2022

California residents who have been laid off as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic or because of other reasons will want to use the following tips when filing for unemployment in California.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

There are 3 basic eligibility requirements you must meet to get unemployment, and these are:

  • Your unemployment status must not be your fault
  • Your past salary has to meet specific minimum thresholds
  • You must currently be seeking employment

What is the Minimal Salary Requirement?

California, like most U.S. States, reviews your recent employment history and salary for a 12 month base period in order to determine eligibility. Specifically, your base period consists of the earliest 4 of 5 completed calendar quarters prior to you filing your benefits claim. For instance, this means that someone who filed their claim during July of 2021 would have a base period that lasts from the first of April, 2020 until March 31st, 2021. The EDD can also utilize the latest 4 quarters for the alternative base period for those that didn’t make enough during their standard base period.

  • During your base period you have to make a minimum of:
  • $1300 during the highest payment quarter
  • $900 within the highest payment quarter as well as a minimum of 1.25 times the highest quarter earnings during the whole base period.

What Classifies As No Fault Unemployment?

In order to obtain unemployment benefits, your unemployment must not be the result of being fired for violating company policy and misconduct. Examples of no fault unemployment include being terminated because of company downsizing or the company being locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are instances where those who have been fired might still be eligible for unemployment. Examples of this include:

  • Being fired because you didn’t have the skills needed to perform the job
  • Being fired because you weren’t a great fit with the company

Those that quit their jobs usually don’t qualify for unemployment unless their reason for leaving was viable. Examples of this include quitting because of harassment, discrimination, or workplace conditions that were unsafe and that led to injury, along with fraud on the part of the employer.

Necessary Documentation for Filing Unemployment

To get your unemployment claim processed as quickly as possible, there are specific documents you’ll need, and these include:

  • Your most recent paycheck stubs or wage records like the W-2 form
  • A legitimate document or card which displays a Social Security number for you
  • Documentation showing proof of your former employment, like a dismissal or layoff notice.

You’ll have to visit the closest unemployment office where you will be required to fill out forms, and one of the questions they typically ask on the forms is why you lost your job. Keep your answer short, simple, and free of detailed explanations. Never use the word “fired” on forms or during interviews even if you were. Instead, use the word “lay off.” There is usually a waiting period before you can begin collecting your benefits, and follow whatever steps are required of you.

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