California Unemployment Benefits and Temporary Jobs WARNING

by Kyle hopes you find work
(Beautiful San Francisco)

The shit just hit the fan... I am a long-time troll of Internet sites regarding UI, now I have something to contribute. If you are trying to research whether temporary jobs will affect your California UI benefits, you came to the right place. I've been laid off from my real job since Dec 2008 and have done what I could to find and accept whatever work I could get and ration my use of my UI benefits by taking temp jobs and keeping my skills fresh. I thought I could go back to my safety net after my most recent temp job ended, but I am learning the hard way. I cannot.

The Story:

I worked a temporary job at a staffing agency back in March and April 2010 where my employer withheld taxes and reported my income to the government. March is considered part of Quarter 1. I worked 2 weeks in March (and all of April) and made approx. $2,200 in March. I claimed my work at the time with EDD and felt pretty good that 1) I made some money and developed skills, and 2) by not being on unemployment for those weeks, I was rationing/extending this safety net into the future.

Now it is August 2010, after re-opening my claim after completing another temp job in June and July, my benefits dropped from $450 to $87 per week. I will only receive $87 per week until I exhaust my benefits earned from my 2 weeks of work in March (for a maximum benefit amount of $1,120. That is 12 weeks at $87, so August, September, and October! This is devastating for me and my family. Please be informed that work you perform ~6 months ago can reduce your claim when you re-open, because the benefits are calculated on earnings from 2-3 quarters prior. There is no way to speed up the usage of this benefit.

Therefore... refer to the "EDD Benefits Handbook" (Google these exact words). Before accepting the temp job, I did some research and asked around and was under the wrong impression that less than 2 months at a full-time temp job won't count against you. Well, the facts are $1,300 per QUARTER. So, if you make more than $1,300, which I easily did in 2 weeks in March, your new benefit is based off of that ridiculously low amount. Thus, $450 per week becomes $87.

To be frank, doing the right thing ended up hurting me. I am so pissed. Please, there needs to be 1) clear and more accessible information for temp job takers, 2) laws need to be reformed so that there isn't the disincentive to take temp jobs. At least I didn't make $1,301 and became "eligible" for $52 per week until I died of starvation (22 weeks). The EDD representative told me on the phone that many people are now getting screwed.

If you are like me, whatever you do, do not work 40 or more hours, and lose your claim, not even for a temporary job. Your current claim will end, and when you re-open, your weekly benefit will be reduced.

Have any of you experienced the same? What can we do about this? How do you calm your wife down after you tell her you are only going to receive $87 per week for the next 3 months?

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Aug 24, 2010
Finally ....
by: Chris -

Someone, who sees one of the great big holes in the "safety net" built in 1935. I'm just sorry you had to fall through it first.

But thanks for taking the time to warn others.

Aug 25, 2010
No Kidding
by: Anonymous

That's horrible. I too, am sorry that this happened to you. Thank you for the warning and try not to get too down on yourself for trying to do the 'right' thing.

Sep 08, 2010
My math is bad...
by: Anonymous

First of all, I am sorry about the $87 benefit, its ridiculous. I always figure they should pay you an increased benefit for finding some temp jobs, and base it on your last full time job. Especially if the bastards kick you to the curb after 8 years to move your job from California to Orem, Utah. But I digress. The idea of EDD is to help you while you look for permanent work, but if you can't find any, why not save the government a few bucks? I guess you are supposed to sit home and collect those checks until the benefits run out (???) I wonder if you could appeal.

The second part I am not understanding is why the benefit is reduced if you make more than $1300 in one month? Or are you saying you have to average $3800-ish a month as a temp to make the $450 maximum?

Sep 11, 2010
Thanks for the warning.
by: Anonymous

What a nightmare. I'm so sorry you're going through this, and hope you find permanent work soon. I've avoided temp agencies for the last year out of fear of losing my UI benefits overnight. The EDD Handbook doesn't provide any information about temping and how they calculate UI benefits based on hours worked and monies earned, while a UI claim is still active.

In this current economy, with freelancing and temping on the rise I wonder if Unemployment Insurance is going to exist at all in the near future.

Sep 25, 2010
general question
by: denise

I took a temp job, it only lasted 6.5 days and it was actually at a rate higher than my old job. Had it continued longer would I have had my rate cut simply cause of what I earned that quarter? Should you take into account how much you would be making compared to your old hourly regardless of longevity of assignment or simply how long it is to last?

Weekly, consider what you make weekly.

Quarterly wages would have an effect on a new benefit year.

A longer temp position at a rate of pay higher than your old salary, is good for any "subsequent claim" .. the monetary qualifying requirements for a 2nd benefit year (since long term unemployment seems to be the norm these days) are less stringent.

I especially think this is important since I'm not holding out a lot of hope for the next feder unemployment extension in November.

Oct 21, 2010
Temp Jobs
by: Ed


From what I have read on the internet, the July 2010 unemployment benefits extension signed into law allows for employees to retain their old weekly benefit amount if the new amount based on the temp job earnings will be $100 or 25% less than your original weekly amount prior to taking the temp job. Eg. If you originally received $450 weekly from your original claim and now, based on the temp job earnings, will receive $320, you are allowed to receive the old weekly amount of $450.

I had the same concerns before, but that legislation passed in July 2010 PROTECTS workers from being 'penalized' for working part-time or temporary. Look it up!


Oct 21, 2010
Article Removing Penalties
by: Ed

Until recently it probably wasn't the best financial idea for anyone collecting federal unemployment extension benefits to seek temporary work. Doing so may have meant receiving a lower level of unemployment benefits in the future.

But President Obama eliminated that potential penalty with the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Fix (EUC Fix) when he signed the latest unemployment benefits extension bill on July 22.

Federal law has always required state unemployment agencies to reexamine a claimant?s unemployment benefits after 52 weeks. Before the EUC Fix was made, some claimants collecting federal extension benefits who worked part-time or took temp jobs could find themselves forced to start a new round of regular state benefits using their short-term jobs as their base. The end result: much lower benefits. But, now, individuals will no longer be penalized as long as certain thresholds are met.
What are those thresholds?

If wages earned on your temp job mean your new state unemployment benefit rate will be $100 or 25 percent less than your current (higher) weekly benefit amount, you would qualify for the higher federal rate. Otherwise, you will move to a new regular state benefits claim.

?Say someone had been getting $300 a week in federal unemployment insurance, and they would drop to $200 a week in state benefits after their temp work,? says George Wentworth, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in New York. ?They would now be able to stay on the $300 federal rate because $200 represents a 33 percent drop in their benefit.?
Are all states required to adopt this change?

Yes, every state will have to honor the federal change. However, the impact of the change will vary by state because every state has different earnings qualifications.

Thanks Ed, that is very good to know and again, thanks for taking the time to explain.

Nov 02, 2010
same here
by: Anonymous

This happened to me, too. My original claim still had about 7K on it, and it hit the deadline and suddenly its based off of 1K. Where did that 6K go? How do they expect us to live?

Nov 02, 2010
Monetary determinations are appealable
by: Chris

If what Ed tells us is true, that the legislation that passed to extend benefits in July provides for retention of original WBA .. any monetary determination which reduces the WBA can and should be appealed.

When monetary determinations become a problem that involves an extension, it requires some working knowledge of the current bill that passed the current extension.

I don't. This is why I refer anyone with extended benefit problems to They seem to know all about it and they even have an "ask the expert" section.

From what I can gather .. the problem might exist because California has it's own state extended benefit trigger .. but I'm guessing now.

When in doubt appeal so you can protect your right to protest the determination. Gather up all your state issued paperwork from the beginning of your claim and get ready for the hearing.

It seems the problem keeps showing up when a person moves to the next tier of benefits .. and when a new benefit year has to be established. I think if there are sufficient earnings in the base period attached to the new claim to qualify for a second benefit year .. that may override extending the previous claim any further.

If anyone would care to share all their documents received from the state .. I wouldn't mind taking a look to see if a light bulb turns on over my head. Just contact me via email and I'll tell you where to fax or email the documents ..


Nov 08, 2010
DOES OBAMA know about this..or Congress?
by: Anonymous

same thing happened to me.....I got laid off Jan. 2009...then accepted a temp job toward end of year for 1 month....I went from getting 1700.00 per month to 450.00 per month...I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS....we did the right thing..accepted work...but got screwed....DOES CONGRESS KNOW ABOUT THIS?


According to Ed, one of the commenters .. President Obama signed the fix in July.

Here's a link to NELP's Q&A's on the EUC Fix.

Nov 09, 2010
Temp Jobs
by: RRZ

After reading some stories out there if i take a temp job and on a payroll i will loose my max UI benifits to a lower rate then why should stop a UI claim if the jobs is for two weeks and than two weeks later the jobs starts again for one month? Can i get both UI and payroll?

Personally, I think this thread could be confusing because it is combining issues of unemployment extensions with issues regarding temp employment while you are still in your first benefits year with regular benefits still available to collect.

As far as I'm concerned .. the goal while collecting unemployment benefits is and should be to get off of unemployment so the unemployed person can forget about the iron like grip the unemployment department has over you while collecting.

Most people take temporary work with the hope that it will lead to permanent work, but they also become confused about who exactly their employer is while working temp jobs and they don't fully understand the "potential" consequences to their current right to benefits that the "last employer" can have on a claim when it comes to collecting in between assignments.

Most temp jobs are gotten through temporary staffing agencies which adds a new dimension and even some new considerations to protecting a right to benefits.

It is for this reason I keep temporary work issues separate.

This thread is here because it was someone from California the issued the "warning" about temporary work.

Dec 07, 2010
from FEB 27 2011 My 3rd benefit year starts
by: Andy

I am in a special situation. From March 1, 2009 until Aug 14, 2009 I was on a job share program (in CA), in other words: I was partially unemployed during that time. After Aug 14, 2009 I was 100% unemployed. I was receiving $450/week. My regular UI benefit year ended in the middle of January 2010. After a one week waiting period I continued with the 1st extension for five weeks.
On March 1, 2010 I could start a new (2nd) Regular UI benefit year with $450/week,(thanks to the work share program).
In April, May and June I worked 8 weeks for the CENSUS, and earned about $4800 dollars. (I also worked 2 weeks in July).
When the CENSUS ended I continued with my (2nd)regular UI ($450/w). It ended in the middle of November, 2010 and I still receiving $450/w UI, obviously the remaining part of the 1st extension.
I did not get any notice from the EDD, so I assume this is still the 1st extension.
The 1st extension will end about at the end of FEB, 2011, and on March 2011 I will be able to start a 3rd new Regular UI benefit year, based on the CENSUS work. But the new weekly benefit will be only $150/ week. Or may be not? Who can tell me? Without the census TEMP work I would be able to collect the max. UI until the middle of DEC 2011. I think I made a big mistake when I went to work TEMP.

Dec 07, 2010
Thanks I appreciate the opportunity to rant a little
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips


In case you weren't aware .. anytime someone mentions the words UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS, I tend to rant about something else.

But to answer you .. I think you won't know anything about the possibility of extending that max CA benefit amount of 450 until, or if they pass another extension.

I think it would have to include a "fix" that also reaches back to those unlucky enough to have any current extension run out or BYE date before a new extension is passed.

It seems each new extension passes with some kind of problem that leaves hundreds of thousands of people in the lurch with no benefits or punishes them for taking temp work. They sometimes fix it by amending, but problems still persist.

I do know what they are fixing is in fact some element of the way unemployment has always worked. Those "elements" were designed that way to keep the loafers from "gaming the system" in the past.

But this recession is unprecedented.

The basic problem, I believe, is the length of time the recession is lasting and the fact that there are few "real permanent jobs" being created.

I recommend everyone get their "extension news updates" at

A Slight Tangent Because A Full Blown One Might Surprise Those That Think I'm Just Sweet And Helpful

As far as temp work goes .. It seems to be the new trend of employment in the United States. I'm sure it's a bottom line thing until corporate America can figure out a way to outsource those jobs to another country and benefit another country's economy.

The real jobs .. such as what used to be considered lasting employment will probably come back when the United States becomes just another third world country and we're all willing to work for peanuts, i.e., the cheapest.

At some point, the powers that be sold what remained of their souls to corporate America .. now they're working on behalf of corporate America to force us to sell ours as well.

And they not only want us to sell our souls for a job .. they want us to be grateful for the opportunity to do so. I guess all that hard work we put in our whole life long helping to make corporate America the real power in this country, just made us to big for our britches.

I could at this point, fly off about those new proposals to get the deficit under control. I noticed that most of the ideas were to make the ordinary average citizen give up more .. not close all those loopholes created specifically to allow American corporations to avoid paying taxes they should be paying to help fund the operating of this country.

I for one, have had it with what the powers that be, are doing right before our eyes.

But I'm also puzzled by the unemployed's general attitude of complacency because this is the biggest problem of all.

Chris -

Jan 24, 2011
by: Anonymous

This happened to me. I took a temp job in August of 2010 for one month. When it ended I reverted back to the $450/week I was getting form UI. I rec'd $450/week thru the remainder of 2010.Beginning Jan 2011 my payment was cut to $75 per week. Fucking Bullshit!!!

Bottom line is...DO NOT GET A TEMP JOB!! It will comeback to bite you in the ass. Either find full time employment or ride out the remainder of you UI benefits.

What a stupid system!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 28, 2011
Than k you!
by: Anonymous

Thank God I found your posting. I currently receive the maximum benefit of $450 per week and was planning to take a temporary position, thinking I was doing the "right thing." Being a single mother, we would have starved to death if Unemployment was recalculated using the 4-month period I've been out of work and the less-than-half hourly wage I was being offered. Whew! Thank you so much!

Feb 08, 2011
Another screwed temp worker
by: Anonymous

I am glad to see this post. I also just found out that because I found temp work as a bartender at the US OPEN GOLF for one week in June and made $1350 in wages, my benefits have dropped from $356 a week to $40.

Totally pissed that I did legitimately work just to be screwed over 6 months later!

What do I do?

Feb 15, 2011
Temp Work
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for this help. I was considering taking temp work, if I could get it, but was concerned about how it would affect my benefits. I tried to get an answer from unemployment, but their answer was unclear and misleading. From what I've read on this site, it seems like I'm better off not taking any temp work and just continue to look for a "real job" as difficult as it may be to find.

Feb 16, 2011
Disability & Unemployment
by: Anonymous

Hey. Thanks for all the good information. Does anyone from Kaiser Ophthalmology know if/how a person who has been receiving state disability insurance payments can receive unemployment insurance payments when their disability insurance runs it's course & they're told that they can't receive any more funds. Or, if a person wants to go back to work in their professional field, and it takes awhile for them to find a job? Does anyone have tips about this?

This comment does not relate to the original submission. Please find a relevant question to make a comment on.

Feb 26, 2011
What if you make more from the temp job?
by: Anonymous

I have been receiving Unemployment: $234 a week since end of september. The claim ended on feb. 21 because I had applied 1 year ago, was denied, but later in the year figured out I could get them after all.
Now it looks like I will receive a 20 week extension. But I am being recruited for a seasonal job I did 3 years ago. It likely lasts approx. 4 months, including the whole 2nd quarter. If I do that job and make significantly more, then reapply for UE October 1, will my claim be higher?I.E. if I make 9,000 in2nd quarter= a whole new claim of 351 a week?


The one word that you used that might concern me is "seasonal" .. I would actually have to scour the CA eligibility guide and/or the code to find out if CA has any special "seasonal work" provisions.

It's one of those state specific things .. some states require seasonal employers to provide a start and end date for the "season" and the only way a lack of work can exist for the claimant is when they stop working on a date that is outside the season .. if it is a lack of work claim.

I don't believe CA does use this method to lower recipients .. but you should double check and let us know.

I know my state has these provisions and they do effect people that work seasonally for sport organizations (concessions, cleaning, etc.) or things like the skiing industry.

Just another thing to be aware of.


May 09, 2011
EDD does not help when they screw applicants for doing the right thing
by: Anonymous

I lost my employment with the State of California in April of 2009. I applied for benefits and received the maximum of $450.00 per week. Then I secured self-employment (contract work) for 3-months and my earnings were deducted from my weekly check. The job only lasted 3-months and earned around $5,000.00. I continued on UI only to discover in April 2011 that my benefits would now be reduced to $151.00 per week. I had extensions on my original claim, but EDD stated I needed to exhaust this $151.00 each week for 18 weeks, then I could revert to the original amount of $450.00. I will have to live on roughly $600.00 a month because I found work and tried to do the right thing. I have been penalized twice (1) deducted benefit award while working and (2) lowering benefit amount after working temporarily. People are better off not getting a job unless it is guaranteed to pay more than UI and be long-term.

Jun 12, 2011
New unemployment claim after temp job?
by: a statistic in CA

I lost my last job in Jan. 2008. I received the maximum benefit amount with all the extensions. I currently receive just a small pension that does not even pay for my medical insurance. I am interviewing for a temp job through an agency that would be full time for 3 to 6 months. If I get this job, would I again be eligible for unemployment benefits (as a new claim) when the job ends? My savings will be gone soon.

Thank you.

Hi, (Before I get started, this answer might require me to finish up with a comment of my own due to length and my inability to keep an answer short and all links will open in a new window for you to reference the tables I refer you to:)

It's a Good question .. because we do have to do what we've got to do to earn money .. despite warnings.

I'm just going to answer in a way that tries to keep you out of hot water when and if you do have to file a claim and so you know when you should file

Any future claim for benefits will be from wages earned as the employee of a temp agency.

Although the nature of the employment is a succession of temp assignments .. working for a temp agency as far as UI benefits go, in effect makes you a "permanent employee" of the temp agency.

So just because one assignment ends .. doesn't mean you are actually unemployed due to a lack of work (the only type of separation an employer has no potential of merit to fight legitimately.

And even though CA does not have temporary worker provisions (see table 5-3) this doesn't stop CA temp agencies or their 3rd party vendor, from sometimes acting like CA does have a provision.

This is the conclusion of my warning.

So, let's assume the best of them and move on.

See next comment ...

Jun 13, 2011
Monetary requirements to establish a new and valid claim in California and the benefits of CA's new base period
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

Resource for monetary requirements to establish a new and valid claim in California and the benefits of CA's new base period.

Effective April 13, 2011 California added another BP (base period) known as ABP (alternative base period. See Table 3-2 in the resource above).

The purpose of which, will be beneficial to someone like you .. as long as that assignment lasts more than one quarter. (So cross your fingers) because I'm going to address the worst case scenario, at least given the info from you I have to work with.

The standard BP is the first 4, of the last 5 COMPLETED quarters. The new ABP that can be used to monetarily qualify a claim in CA is the last 4 COMPLETED quarters.

So let's assume you start work before the end of June 2011 .. one quarter will be completed.

And let's also assume that you work all of July and August and into September before the assignment ends.

You would have to wait, until November 1, 2011 for that 2nd quarter to be completed before you file.

Reason being, qualifying quarters must be COMPLETED. (See Table 3-3)

The Monetary earning requirements to establish a valid claim and the formulas are state specific.

(See Table 3-3 to learn the California earnings requirements and that they must be present in two quarters to establish a claim)

This is .. in the end, what you can use to estimate whether you will be able to collect, but only know for certain .. when the temp assignment finally does end.


Jun 22, 2011
same story here...
by: JBM

Glad I found your blog, and good to know that I'm not alone here. I was laid off in May '09, and collected benefits through Jan '10. I had a PT job through the end of May '10, and went back on EDD in June '10, when they made me file a new claim (since the original expired a month previous). I then worked PT for the census through Aug '10, and received partial EDD benefits. Which was fine--I preferred to work, and delay my benefits until I needed them. All was fine, till a couple weeks ago, when EDD said that I needed to send along proof of income from the census. When I called to inquire, the rep said that everything was taken care of, and I'd be receiving my next form soon. And then a slew of other letters arrived, saying that my benefits were to be reduced for the next several months, because I worked those two PT jobs. Had I sat on my butt, and done nothing, I'd still be receiving full benefits.

WTF?! I shouldn't be penalized for working!

And it looks like those reduced benefits are ~77% of what I rec'd previously, so I don't think I'm eligible for the EUC program. This sucks. Life is tough enough when you're unemployed...getting screwed when trying to do the right thing just isn't right.

Jul 16, 2011
Temporary job
by: Anonymous

I am not understanding the benefit applying to the new EUC fix law.

I was laid off in Nov 2009, had been unable to get a job because I work in construction and because of my age (63). I did odd jobs like gardening, labor, etc. which still paid me some UI benefits at reduced amount (they deducted a portion of what I reported as earnings). I have not worked for awhile again, clients have no money to pay me either, and these are odd jobs that do not contribute to unemployment. I started a temp job (2 week/full time job) last week. How is this going to affect my current $450/week benefit? My benefit will expire somewhere in November of this year, I believe. When I complete this 2 week temp job, will I be paid the same $450/week benefit?


I do not profess to know more about extensions than the next person, but what I think is happening .. at least the only thing that makes sense to me is that when it comes time to move to a next tier of extension, or file for a new benefit year, the states are checking to see if they can push a person into a claim based upon

Monetary requirement for establishing consecutive claims (See table 3-4)

I'm only assuming, but I would think if you can't meet the monetary requirement of the 2nd benefit year .. then you would revert back to your original weekly benefit amount on an extension of the original claim.


Federal extensions are due to expire at the end of the year .. and I don't think it would be a good idea to count on anymore .. at least not at this point in time.


Jul 20, 2011
So Sorry for you
by: jamv

Again, someone trying to do the right thing and the system let you down -

Aug 11, 2011
Contract Work
by: Concerned!!!

I have been offered a contract for 3 months, starting Aug 15, ending Oct. 15. I have been receiving $443 a week on UI. The contract will net me $760 week x12 = $9120.

I started UI on Feb 29, 2010 and I believe my 99 weeks are due to expire in January 2012.

How will this affect my continued claim come Oct 15th. Additionally, I have signed paper work through the temp agency but have not started the job yet. I do not want to become ward of this temp agency as it deals mostly with ESL work force. Hw do I handle telling the agency NO.


I believe, considering the thread you posted this on that you need to take a look at the qualifying formulas for establishing a "second benefit year" (table 3-4)
because if I'm not mistaken that is what is happening to people collecting an extension.

The earnings from temp work .. seem to be used for benefits first, before you can go back and collect on any remaining extension weeks.

Aug 14, 2011
So I'm confused
by: Anonymous

I'm on my last 5 months of benefits, ending Feb 12, 2012. I just got my first UI check from this last extension.
I get $450 per week.

The end of last week, I was hired by a temp agency for a job that is supposed to last 2 weeks.
I worked 2 days last week and am expecting to work all next week.
I will get paid $480 before taxes for those 2 days I just worked, and net around $1000 for next week.

So what I've been reading is scaring me and confusing me at the same time.
EDD will now consider this temp agency my last employer and base my that pay from them to configure my new weekly benefits? The $1500 I may get from the temp agency???

But then I read Obama signed some new law not allowing us to be penalized for accepting temp work?

Can someone tell me what's going to happen? I can barely live on the $450 a week.
I'm collecting from California.

Aug 29, 2011
by: Employer

I am an employer and asked a former employee, whom I know is still having to collect UI from a layoff, if he wanted a 6-8 week temp assignment. He said EDD told him his (max) benefit would be reduced significantly if he took the temp assignment.
I thought this was absurd since it would seem we all want to get people back to work, spark the economy, etc. Then I found this thread online. Looks like I am wrong. Wow, employees and employers trying to do the 'right thing' and the system is clearly broken.

Hi Employer,

Yes, clearly the system is broken and unfortunately, no one is asking me if I have any ideas for fixing it .. if they did .. I'm guessing it would be employees that would balk at my suggestions.

If you've read this thread, you might of noticed that a "retroactive fix" was supposed to fix this problem of people's benefits being reduced after taking a temp job.

The problem .. as far as I can tell lies in the second benefit year monetary qualifying formulas.

If the temp wages are sufficient to meet that formula, it seems, regardless of any remaining extension balance .. these people first have to collect and exhaust the paltry weekly benefits those temp wages might qualify them for.

I swear, I really wish someone would fix this .. because I strongly believe unemployment benefits should only ever be a temporary fix .. meaning at most 26 weeks of benefits for a separation that is legitimately not the employees fault.

The problem.

The wage base employer's pay taxes on is designed to be sufficient on the premise that job creation is just around the corner .. if a recession causes the rate to spike.

This recession has been unprecedented .. just as the continuation of EUC's is now unprecedented.

The system has been flawed for a long time .. and let me hint at one of my suggestions.

The employment relationship requires employer's only to pay taxes. The cost is real.

Employees are uninsured motorist. The loss is real.

Sep 27, 2011
Assistance figuring out all this mess
by: Anonymous

I lost my job in CA the end of March 2011, then have received unemployment benefits up until last week when I took a part-time temp job. The job only lasts 2 weeks, and I'll be making more money than my weekly benefit. My unemployment claim expires in March 2012, and I have about 9 more weeks left in my claim balance currently. When my temp p/t job ends, will I be able to receive my full weekly benefit amount as before? Will I be able to get extended in the full amount as before as well? Or else because I worked a temp job for 2 weeks, is my extension going to be less?


Oct 11, 2011
Question on Temp Work and UI in CA
by: Anonymous

I lost my job in April and qualified for unemployment in California.

I just received a phone call today from my previous employer asking if I would be interesting working for them from Oct 15th to Jan 2nd 2012 to cover for an employee who will be taking a two month vacation in her home country of India.

They're offering me the same wages as before, $12/hr base plus commissions (I worked as an Insurance Agent).

I want to accept the job as it is 1) The right to do and 2) Twice as much as I'm receiving from the EDD which I barely living off as it is.

However reading this thread I am uncertain whether I'll take a huge hit to my unemployment or that I won't because of this Obama fix. Right now I still on my 26 weeks of EDD state benefits. I won't reach the first Tier of the Federal extension benefits until November.

I don't know if I should take the temp job or not. I almost lost my benefits once for reporting $100 worth of notary work I did as odd jobs becuase EDD tried to said I was self-employed and not looking for full-time work. My general impression is that the stystem is broken and will punish those who do the right thing. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

Oct 27, 2011
Thank you!
by: Sue

I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you and I am very grateful that you are sharing your story! Thank you so much and I hope your family was able to make it through the tough times

Oct 27, 2011
Everything went fine!
by: JD

I worked a two week temporary prevailing wage job.
I reported my income.
Luckily, it did not affect my unemployment.
Of course I didn't get UIB for those two weeks I worked, but my benefit amount never changed!
And in fact, I just started getting my FED ED Extension and the weekly amount is the same.
So nothing changed for me taking a temp job.


Nov 07, 2011
Temp Job
by: Anonymous

I got a 2 week temp job. I'm on my last extension on UIB.FEDed.... will reporting this screw up my remaining benefits?

I don't think two weeks of employment would be enough to screw up your benefit amount, but I do know that not reporting the earned money would definitely screw you up .. as that would be unemployment fraud.

The entire point of this website is to play the game as well as possible within the unemployment rules .. because when you go outside of the the rules .. the consequences can get even harsher, including prison time for unemployment fraud.

What can happen when you are found guilty of unemployment fraud? The least of your worries is repaying unemployment benefits.

Nov 13, 2011
I WON!!!!!!!!!
by: Lorri (CA)

Hi to Chris & Heather, had my hearing this past Monday, had an awful week waiting, letter yesterday, "notice of determination is reversed, claimant is not disqualified for benefits pursuant to code 1256, benefits are payable provided claimant is otherwise eligible". WOO HOOOO!!!! Been filing my continued claim forms as scheduled, now just waiting for the deposit to my EDD debit card. Thank you for your help, I've been studying everything I could find and it paid off. Two hints you taught me, be prepared for anything, & stick to the facts, he didn't care that I was mentally devastated for 6+ months, apparently he did care that when he asked me "approximately how long were you employed by Dr. P", I replied with "23 years, 1 month, and 14 days". This was mentioned in the Issue Statement/Findings of Fact in my letter from the ALJ, bless Mr. Chavez. Feel I've learned a lot from this, was ready to go to the next step, I cried for half an hour when my husband read the letter, came in and gave me a thumbs up!!!

Oh Lorri I am so happy for you, I wish those kind of tears for everyone fighting the good fight.

Now I just need to find the right Q&A to add your comment to .. so anyone reading can also read about the hell you went through to get here:))


Nov 21, 2011
Extended Benefits
by: Anonymous

I was laid off back March 2008 and received a weekly benefit of $305.00 and also on my first extension. I got a job in November 2008. I got laid off from that job in November 2010 and got a weekly benefit amount of 370.00. When they put me
on the extension I was getting $305.00 a week instead of $370.00 which I thought the amount of money was the same on the extended benefits from the regular claim. I called EDD and they said that they have to continue to pay me from the 2008 extension. I think that it wrong. EDD screws you either way. They will pay you less money if they can get away with it!

Heather? Are you there? Can you help answer this person's question? Because that sounds screwy to me too!!!

Dec 23, 2011
Understanding the EDD UI Pamphlet
by: Terri

What frustrates me is that there is no live help out there to get actual information any longer. The 800 phone number is forever busy, and many EDD offices in CA have closed. Sending snail mail, ends up being too old to be applicable, e-mail (can't say, mine has never been returned w/an answer at all) So you are left trying to understand this pamphlet which is specific to state benefits, not helpful to anyone re; federal extensions. Actually I never found it that beneficial at all.
Seems like there should be a mandate to assist applicants in understanding and completing this paperwork. (There is for welfare recipients!!)

Dec 31, 2011
Not eligible for EUC fix!
by: SunnyGrl

Yep, Same thing has happened to me TWICE!
I took temp assignments in 2010 and I went from $450 a week to now $276 a week. The EUC fix only works for those with a "Parent claim" ending or beginning after July, 22 2010 (when the law was signed).
More info:

My "parent claim" ended in May of 2010 :(

So, I have to exhaust this lower amount in 18 weeks THEN I'm put back on my Parent claim ($450). I now realize that if I don't want this to happen again I need to exhaust my Parent claim (5/09-5/10). THEN I am eligible for that EUC fix!

Hopefully, I'll just find a great job :) If not, I ts best to find a temp job that pays over $11k in a "quarter". Crossing fingers

Dec 31, 2011
Report your earnings but LESS than 40 hrs/week
by: Kyle hopes you find work

Thanks everyone for posting on this topic, I get email notifications whenever someone replies and it just reminds me about the tough state of the world. I kept applying for jobs and in November 2010, about 3 months after posting my story, I landed a great position which I am still at. Of course once you get a job, the wife will be worried about something else eventually, but that's another story, and life is indeed better :) I am very open to helping other unemployed people due to my humbling experience.

As to the last poster, I hope you find a job. The "parent claim" conundrum seems about right. Another buddy of mine just got a job after he hustled with temp projects for the last 9 months. By all means, I want to encourage work even if it's temporary. Just be careful.

HOT TOPIC: I was wondering, there might be some effect about reporting 40 OR MORE HOURS on your claim forms. Please check, because if you report 39 hours (below 40) you might NOT be subjecting yourself to a new base period, because you are not considered FULL TIME by EDD. I think if you report 40 hours/week for 2 straight weeks, then you start the "Quarter." For instance, you charge $1,200 per hour and work 1 hour... this is looked at differently by EDD than if you work 40 hours at $30/hr. So, by all means report all your earnings, but if EUC doesn't help you, you may be able to crack this mess. I don't know if this works, but worth some discussion. Please check on this!

Jan 01, 2012
Partial Benefits - Part-time Work
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

Hi Kyle,

Great to hear you found work. I hope everyone does in the new year!

As for that Partial unemployment part-time work thing (See Table 3-8 for definition of Partial Unemployment) .. it varies by state.

Given that information about a parent claim I don't think less than 40 will help as what states look for is the amount of earnings meeting the second benefit year's, lower monetary qualifying formulas (Table 3-4)

Oddly enough, it became easier for CA to direct people to exhaust regular benefits calculated on earnings before sending them back to an extension WBA or balance when CA instituted one of the modernization provisions in April of 2011.

The alternative base period was one of the allowed modernizations. I think there was five total and to receive the full amount they had to meet three. (see Table 3-2 for BP's by state.) The changes offered a state a boatload of stimulus funds in thirds.

The tables are found here.

The modernizations can be found here.


Jan 04, 2012
srewed for working
by: Anonymous

I also went back to work cause I'm not a lazy person draining the ui claim. I went to work when there was work even if it was a on call thing. Unfortunately now my claim expired and my benefits where reduced from 450 to 97.00. I called and there's nothing they can do for me they just said that's how the systems work. What a f n government. We all should just stay home and collect and exhuast every damn dime they have cause doing the right thing is just hurting ourselves. They should let every one know that going back to work without getting full time hrs is just gonna be worse than sitting home getting drunk. At least the one at home is drunk and gets his bills paid. And the one who worked can't even put gas in his truck to go to work.

Jan 25, 2012
What if a temp job pays DOUBLE my old wage, but only lasts 5 days?
by: Anonymous-A

Thank you to all who have gone before me... I'm brand new to UIB, living in California, and am (thankfully) getting $450 a week. I'm interviewing for a temp job, but reading this blog has me concerned. The temp job would pay twice what my old job did (and tons more than my UIB), but it's only for 5 days. If I get the job, it could lead to more in the future, but only once in awhile.
This blog has shown me that taking a temp job that pays LESS than a person’s old wage reduces the amount of their UIB, but what about if a temp job pays MORE than the old wage?
Does the higher-waged temp job automatically keep me at the highest UIB rate, or, if I take temp jobs, do I then need to keep making over $11,674 per quarter to maintain my $450 UIB?
Also, does my UIB count as income towards that $11,674?
I send all my best wishes to everyone trying to do the right thing by their country, community, family, and themselves with this unemployment system. It’s a shame that doing what’s right for our country (by taking that temp job) has turned out to be the wrong thing for the individual in so many cases. :-(

Feb 02, 2012
byb expired?
by: Anonymous

Did your benefit year expire? It sounds to me like the renewal claim was filed and established a new byb based on the latest separation instead of backdating to the original benefit year. When that happens you do move forward in time and can lose quarters that have more quarterly wages. I'd ask the state why the benefit year was cancelled and then moved forward on a renewal claim.

Feb 03, 2012
Re: byb expired?
by: Anonymous-A

Hi. Thanks for responding. No, my BYB hasn’t expired yet. This is my first time receiving UIB and I’ve only been on UIB eight weeks so far (so I’m a newbie and completely clueless). For now, my question is hypothetical, like IF I get the higher-paid job ($200 per day rate) but for only 5 days, could that actually lower my UIB rate in the future? And IF I am lucky enough to maybe get more $200 per day temp jobs (but for only 3 to 5 days each time), possibly every month or two, could that lower my UIB rate also? I’m still in the interview process for the temp job, but want to know what could happened to my UIB in the event I am offered the one temp job, or offered additional ones in the future. Are you saying temp jobs worked within the first benefit year DON’T affect UIB, but temp jobs worked AFTER the first benefit year has expired DO? Do temp jobs negatively affect UIB inevitably, or does it depend on how much one earns on those temp jobs and/or how often one gets those jobs? Forgive my ignorance about UIB and thank you for taking the time to help me understand the relationship between UIB and temp jobs.

Feb 03, 2012
Will Five Days Working a Temp Job Screw My Unemployment?
by: Chris

I don't think, five days only, of employment .. even at double your old rate of pay would be enough to slam you back to a new benefit year calculated on subsequent wages at your BYE, but you should check on that .. there's a link below to do that.

For me, it's always extension benefits that will confuse me, as the extensions we've experienced during this recession are unprecedented and there's a difference to be considered about whether after the first 26 weeks of benefits you start collecting state extended benefits or Federal EUC benefits.

Regardless, any extension is triggered by the high and rising unemployment rate and the formulas that trigger extended benefits are not designed to work when the rate drops only because exhaustees of benefits are discarded in the adjusted rate which will go down and not because jobs are being created, but because the system is designed based upon recessions ending because the economy improves.

All I think I know about this is all these people that have taken temporary jobs .. have been affected by their responsible attitude to accept work even if it is temporary and it's those earnings that were used to forced them back to collecting regular benefits, when a new benefit year had to be established. It's the always present, lower 2nd benefit year monetary qualifying formulas that I see as the reason for all these problems.

So in essence, a responsible person will be affected by the requirements put in place to prevent deadbeats not looking for work, from gaming the system.

And let's not forget that every time extensions are reauthorized .. they hide shit in the reauthorization to make it more difficult to continue collecting and more confusing to figure out why you now have to collect a puny benefit amount .. or worse get an overpayment of benefits notice for $18,000.

No I'm not kidding .. states are actively investigating old claims to get back the benefits they've paid. I suspect they're trying to become solvent this way or maybe just use the funds they get back to repay the feds for the loans they had to take out from the feds when they hit the insolvency triggers.

Feb 03, 2012
Will Five Days Working a Temp Job Screw My Unemployment? Cont'd
by: Chris

Here's some FAQ's at NELP about extensions.

And while you're there .. don't forget to get a little boisterous.

I think that's preferable to whining complacently.

Mar 28, 2012
part time work
by: Anonymous

I have been working part time caring for my mother and looking for full time work. I have used up my benefits and thought I would be getting the FedEd extension. Instead I get a letter telling me to file a new claim. Under the EUC Fix, it looks like I will get the regular full amount of $450.00. According to EUC Fix, I can't be penalized if wages earned on a temp job would mean state benefits would be $100.00 or 25% less than my current benefit amount. I was caring for my mother before and not getting anything. Then someone told me I can get money as an in home support caretaker. I thought why not? It's the right thing to do and I am open to working part time. Can anyone tell me if my benefit amount will be the same or if I will get the FedEd? I'm in CA.

Apr 01, 2012
I got screwed by thinking I was helping the state
by: Anonymous

The exact same thing happen to me. I thought by taking temporary work and earning my own money, I was helping out the state who seem to be broke. Instead they screw me by rewarding from $450 a week to $60 a week. I tell all my friends who have been laid-off to use up all their UI benefits before looking for work. If you have earn extra under the table.

Apr 03, 2012
deferred new claim program HR4213
by: Anonymous

I am working part time as caretaker for my mother. My benefit claim ran out and I emailed EDD and asked about bill HR4213 where you have right to revert to higher claim if you are working part time at a lower wage. It is known as the deferred new claim program. My new claim will be based on my higher benefit amount at $450.00 instead of $90.00 a week. Check to see if you are eligible under bill HR4213. This bill was passed so people who are only working part time cannot be penalized financially for taking part time work at a lower rate.

Apr 13, 2012
PLEASE answer these questions (somebody?)
by: Jimsmitty

I'm sorry I'm so dense but all those table and the legal language, even some of the acronyms, make no sense to me.

If I'm terminated in Feb 2012, work a couple temp jobs for 2 -3 weeks in April, which I believe cause me to re-apply for benefits (this past temp gig in late March had me mark the last continued benefit claim form that i had worked those 2 weeks. I specifically wrote in the last column "temp assignment ended". This seems to have brought me a letter saying I have a claim that starts April 1, like the EDD re-opened the claim for me), when do I see myself getting screwed by these here and there 2 week jobs?
Is it when one of them in the near future ends near an upcoming quarter where the government takes a new look at my past quarters and those quarters are the ones where I was unemployed?

I have a mortgage that requires all of the max benefit so I will lose my home if they reduce my benefits, therefore this is REALLY crucial.
Should I give the temp thing a rest from now on? I hate to, as others have said, because you feel like you're doing something to help yourself and the government, but I don't want them to cost me my little townhouse either.

Please help!?

Jul 02, 2012
Van broken and Unable to get to work
by: JoAnna

I live about 40 miles away from my job. Last week my transmission went out on my van. It is now taking me 3 hours to get to work in the morning and 3 hours back home. I have a 10 year old daughter and since it is summer time it is ok. But when school starts there will be no way for me to keep this job because it will take 2 busses just to get her to school and there is no way I wpould be ablr to make it to work on time. Can I collect UI benefits while I look for a job closer to home?

Jan 06, 2013
Really quick help with this would be nice!
by: M

A relative just got a scary letter from the edd. The Notice of Overpayment is asking for ALL her UI payments back for the past year - $25,000 worth! She was unlawfully fired from a big company and she is suing them. In the mean time, she took a part time, temporary, seasonal job while trying "to do the right thing." Unfortunately she had to quit that job after just 2 days due to an injury. Well, now the state is saying that she "quit your job without good cause" and wants a whole years' worth of benefits back!?! Does this make any sense to anyone? She had a career that she lost and was collecting unemployment, took a silly little temp job, got hurt, and now has to pay back a whole years worth of benefits that had been based upon her real, full time, permanent job that she was unlawfully fired from?? WTH? Any advice would be great! We've been searching for answers and have found few. Thanks in advance!

No, it does not make any sense to me .. unless she has collected 25,000 dollars in benefits since that voluntary quit due to an injury .. however the injury itself is not good cause to quit .. even if the silly job lasted on two days .. that temp staffing agency .. or a regular type employer hiring temporary staff must report all new hires .. and if anyone thinks unemployment fraud detection isn't a large part of why they must do this .. they clearly don't get what I'm trying to do here.

This whole website is really just a warning to take the unemployment laws and conditional requirements as seriously as you should pay attention to the rules on a job.

I really can't tell if she'll be able to prove good cause for the quit .. but I have serious doubt that the EDD wouldn't push the envelope and try to get many people to repay more that they should.

Jan 12, 2014
new job ends up being part time and temp
by: Anonymous

I was working full time (job I had for 1.5 yrs) but got hurt. I was on temporary disability for one month and during that time found a job that I thought was better (higher hourly) and also doable regarding my work restrictions. This new employer was not truthful about it being temporary work. I was under the impression that this job would last. So for just about a month I was putting in just over 30 hours maybe 34. Now I am terminated. Can I get UI in California?

Jun 03, 2015
Thank you for sharing...
by: Anonymous

I just began receiving my unemployment benefits for a month now and like you I was leaning towards a temp job until August to extend my eligibility for the full amount of benefits. I was just about to call the employer and accept the offer when I came across this article. Thank you for the information there is not much posted on the web.

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