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California unemployment after a long period of disability and worker compensation.

by Gina Kay Burke
(Palm Desert, Ca USA)

I am asking om behalf of my mother in law. Her husband had a job back in 2008. He was injured on the job, was on workmans comp for a time then turned into state disability.

He was ready to go back to work, his boss could not use him anymore do to lack of work. So in other words he was laid off. He applied for unemployment but was denied do to lack of earnings. When a person is on disability does the employer still pay into his employee's benefits. So that he/she can collect UI benefits?

I had him appeal even though the letter stated there where no funds to pay out. When someone is on disability and they go back to work, but are turned away for lack of work, what is a person to do? Thanks Chris for all you do.......Merry Christmas

Hi Gina,

This is one of the sadder parts of unemployment benefits and is strictly dependent on the state you're trying to collect from.

If someone has been injured on the job and goes out on worker comp they should contact an attorney immediately to find out what there rights are. There's a time limit on everything.

The problem for your father in-law is California's base period. They actually passed a law for an alternative base period, but that doesn't go into effect until 2011.

And even an alternative base wouldn't help him. A state needs what is called an "extended base period" which allows the state to look at the wages prior to being hurt.

The entire time he was injured and recuperating he was first getting worker's comp and then CA temporary disability, but time was passing and with each passing quarter he lost wages in his base period .. which is the first four of the last five completed quarters .. relative to the date the claim was filed.

It's very doubtful the appeal will do any good, even though the separation from the work would be qualifying. The employer wasn't paying any UI tax on wages because worker's comp and CA disability aren't wages.

Merry Christmas to you and yours Gina. Wish I had better news.


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