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How to Collect California Unemployment Benefits

Collecting California unemployment benefits, is much the same as it is in any of the United States - Not as easy as most people think when they first apply for benefits.


  • First, any claim for benefits must be determined monetarily valid.  In California this results in what the California EDD often refers to as an "award letter" telling you how much unemployment you will get per week, but only if you're you're next determined to be non-monetarily, or otherwise eligible to receive that amount of benefits.
  • Once you know how much, expect to be notified of the date and time for a phone interview with a claim adjudicator.  They want to gather as much available information as they can to learn why you think you quit with good cause, or were fired for something other than misconduct.

Both the monetary determination (award letter) and the non-monetary determination (reasons for separation eligibility) can be appealed to the unemployment tribunal for a first level unemployment hearing should either you, or an employer disagree with an initial claim determination.


But, as the chart indicates, strange things have happened to California's unemployment statistics since 2009 when the recession ended, officially, of course .  

Those receiving benefits on average, dropped. This wasn't unusual in many other states as well, but it happened in California, despite the fact the state has a not too bad, Unemployment Insurance Benefits Determination Guide (UIBDG) and access to unemployment insurance precedent decision .. to help even claimants understand when benefits may, or may not be possible. 

Or when an unemployment appeal might be in order and how to win one.

More California Unemployment Tips

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