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California unemplyment benefit & going back to school for weekend classes.

Dear whom it may concern,

Currently, I am on unemployment benefit from state of California. I have been looking for a job for last 5 months to no avail.

I was thinking about going back to school for a master degree and the program I am interested allows me to attend the classes during weekends, while working weekdays.

My question is, do I lose the unemployment benefit, if I attend a school only weekends when I am available to work during weekdays? If I get a federal loan such as stafford loan, do I lose the benefit?

I looked around the California EDD web site and there is no answer for it. Please help. I really cannot lose the benefit and want to make a right decision for my current situation.

Thank you very much.

Hi Anonymous,

I think you need to read AA 40 of the determination guide.

In California it's possible to attend school and collect unemployment benefits if you're able and available for suitable work (I've no idea what this may be for you) and I've been told by others in CA that when or if you have to participate in an eligibility interview because of going to school, they ask if you'd be willing to give up school to accept a job in that suitable line of work, if it were to interfere with your school schedule.

Would you do this?

You can draw your own conclusions. I personally don't think going to school on the weekends is so restrictive as to create a denial for limiting your availability for work, unless you typically would be required to work on the weekends in whatever line of work you did last.

Count yourself lucky ..

California is not nearly as restrictive as some states on this issue .. and they also have a fairly active training program.

I think the treatment of students .. when it comes to unemployment benefits is counter intuitive to the purpose of unemployment .. partial wage replacement in a recession without jobs.

But I also believe desperation breeds some really bad and sadly, intentional mistakes, when it comes to checking boxes on continuing claim forms to keep collecting.


Comments for California unemplyment benefit & going back to school for weekend classes.

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Jul 17, 2009
thank you
by: Anonymous

thank you Chris,
i will look into your information.
thank you again.

Jul 18, 2009
by: Anonymous

Dear Chris,
thanks again for the information.
I looked at the A44 and It seems that I am eligible for the benefit, if I am attending school just for weekends.

I have one more question. Do I need to inform EDD or not? If so, how do or should I inform them?
On the bi-weekly letter from EDD, I only see a place for whether I am attending school or training, there is any place where I can inform EDD that I will be attending school but only on weekends.
Please advise and again thank you very much for your help.


They will ask the question. All states make you certify that you are able and available for work and usually this includes a question as to whether you are attending school or training. Certifying that you have answered all the questions truthfully is done under penalties for perjury ..

Jul 19, 2009
one more question
by: Anonymous

Dear chris
Thanks for the answer.
Just want to verify. Once I check YES in the section where I inform CA EDD that I will be attending school, then the EDD will follow up or send me an additional form to verify that I whether I can work while attending school. Am I right?
Thanks again and you have been greatly helpful.


I believe that is how it's suppose to work, but I don't live in California. I'm basing my answer on information in some of the questions I've received.

In fact, it's this part of how unemployment works, that all the people reading these questions could help each other out if they would just post a comment .. if they've had some experience with a particular situation.

Sorry for the unqualified answer, but it's the best I can do.


Jul 23, 2009
thanks and will post
by: Anonymous

Dear Chris,
thanks again for the information.
Once I go through the process then I will post my experience so I can inform the others.
Thanks again.

Jul 30, 2009
Follow up
by: Anonymous

Hi Chris
Please update us and tell us if you reported it to edd yet? If so how did it go?

I am wondering to what happens if you dont report school to the EDD.

Hi there,

It's Chris .. the webmaster:) acutally it's anonymous who's supposed to report back how it goes. I think Anonymous was going to report back after the interview with EDD. Were still waiting.

Aug 07, 2009
Im in the same boat Chris
by: Anonymous

please let me know what happened with EDD, I am ready to start school soon and am nervous about losing my benefits

Aug 12, 2009
Repoting to EDD
by: Anonymous

Dear All,
Those of you waiting for the information about reporting to EDD, my school does not start until the end of September.
So some of you would start earlier than I. If you report this matter to EDD, please post your experince on this site, so all us of can benefit from it.

Aug 25, 2009
by: alternando

This is a very tricky subject on many levels. I took a class over the summer and was able to attend it during the day 8-5 M-F and the class was paid for by unemployments Workforce Partnership. I was also paid unemployment while I took the class... since it was a partnership program. However.. it was determined by decision so while they were determining it I did not receive unemployment checks. This was because it was during my normal working hours that I was taking the class. In essence you should always call and inform EDD of your intentions with school and they log it. Then when you start school you document it on your EDD forms that you are attending a school. In order to get funds while attending school you need to inform them within the first 16 weeks of your unemployment. There are exceptions like in my case I was awarded but it was only a month long course. They would not have paid out anymore after my initial award.

I am curious to see if EDD will pay unemployment if you are attending school on the weekend also. It shouldn't be a problem but again you do want to give your intentions to EDD. My biggest question is should EDD be informed if you receive a Stafford loan? Does that disqualify you? I saw that posted early in the thread but no one answered it.

Thanks for the post. You said a mouthful, "it's a tricky subject" .. that being unemployment and school.

If there is any part of unemployment that everyone knows more than me .. it's this one. This is something that those experiencing problems with their benefits caused by school of any type, need to share their experience on.

The whole subject of school while collecting unemployment seems contrary to me .. especially in this economy.

This is something President Obama has encouraged the states to change. It would help if people knew they could acquire new skills to fit growing labor market trends and not fear losing the money that will sustain them.

Comments anyone?


Aug 27, 2009
Not Reporting School
by: AE

Several years ago I was unemployed from 8-5 work and then started taking non 8-5 classes (eves, weekends). I called EDD to ask about this. They asked about whether or not the classes would make me unavail. for work in a position in my typical or last industry. I told her no and she said something like, "Well, then you won't lose benefits since you'd still be available." What's surprising is what happened next. I asked her, "So I should go ahead and mark yes on the question asking if I have begun attending any classes." And she told me not to - not to bother, because it didn't matter, since I could still work.

I would imagine the process would have otherwise been marking yes, then an administrative or telephone hearing would be scheduled and the conclusion would be a continuation of benefits anyway. She was assuming the authority of making the decision instead of whomever handles the administrative and telephone hearings - kind of streamlining the process. Government worker syndrome? But in my favor?

Anyway, I'm again unemployed - but now I'm going to start day AND evening classes so my work search is for SHIFT work. I'm no longer available for 8-5 work (my typical/past kind of jobs) so do I do the same thing over - answer "NO" just like I was instructed before.

Any opinions would be appreciated!

Aug 27, 2009
Not Reporting School
by: AE

Hmmmmm. This is Chris. I never, ever recommend untruthfulness, not even on the advice of state personnel .. how would you prove they told you to be less than honest. And you can be sure they won't be required to help you pay back any over-payments be they fraud or non-fraud over-payments.

I do know that people do this though .. just not report things to the state.

Am I the only pansy who would be afraid of getting caught .. let alone feeling guilty and like crap about myself for what I did???

I hope it works out for you though, but I think I'd be worried about day and night classes being to restrictive to your availability.

Sep 08, 2009
Not Reporting School
by: Anonymous

Scary ain't it. I'm actually taking all online classes this semester and am wondering if I should report it or not. I didn't know about informing edd within the first four months about school and actually collected benefits during last semesters night school without reporting. I can't afford to have my benefits stopped and can't afford not to attend school. How do they know anyways?

That's a good point. How do they know .. unless we tell them?

Is everyone aware of the "report fraud" buttons on state unemployment websites?

Did you know that anyone can report UI fraud .. not just employers. Have a feud with your unemployed neighbor? .. That's the scary part .. that some state's actually allow anonymous reporting of fraud.

I also know that if a former employer knows they can't win .. they may send informational letters to states questioning your A&A if they knew you were thinking of attending school or get wind of it through conversations with former co-workers.

My advice, is to keep your business off the street and remain Anonymous .. although I sure wish you all would get a little creative when naming yourself ..

Webmaster Chris .. with no last name:)

PS I've made a new page strictly for Unemployment and School. I'm in the process of moving all questions about this subject to that page.

Sep 08, 2009
Does EDD verify you schooling?
by: Anonymous

I had a few questions for anyone who has checked the box and dealt with the EDD.

Does the EDD contact your school and verify what amount of classes you are enrolled in? How about the days and times of your classes? Furthermore, how does the EDD even know if you are in school?

I think it is against the law for your school to disclose your records to a 3rd party, but I am no legal expert.

Any info on the subject would be greatly appreciated

Sep 09, 2009

Well to respond to a few statements... I prefer to inform them that I'm going to school and it does not affect my work hours, however I would have this discussion over the phone. Unfortunately trying to talk to someone over the phone is impossible these days so I put it on my form that I am attending school but it does not affect me working. I'm sure they will schedule an interview.

The thing with going to work evening and day time and EDD finds out you are not being truthful disqualifies you from EVER collecting in the future until you repay what you've collected so I'm not about to close that door.

Sep 27, 2009
school and unemployment
by: Anonymous

if you check the box that you started training or school, they will automatically stop your money and schedule a phone interview, at least in Cali. When you have that interview be careful what you say. That will decide your benefits. See above the website that someone put about AA5. That gives a lot of info and what you can say about your personal situation.
good luck.

Oct 01, 2009
Question for Alternando
by: Relative

Your post was very informative. Did you have to call EDD to get into the "Workforce Partnership"? I can never get through to speak to someone. I remember trying to find out how to get into that program and it refered you to a Job or Career Training Center. When I called the center they told me there were no more funds available for the program and that the EDD will let you go to school full time as long as you pay the school on your own. You mentioned you were receiving funds for your school and receiving your benefits at the same time. What kind of questions do they ask to qualify you and how long did it take for them to accept your request? What were the steps you took to get into the program?

Oct 01, 2009
Help! Worried about losing benefits
by: Kelly

I unfortunately checked the yes box, I'm going to school, and have been suffering because I have not had a check in 5 weeks, and my unemployment interview is not until next Tuesday. I'm attending part-time school, two classes that both meet M,W, and F from 12:30pm-1:45pm and from 2pm-3:40pm. I was advised by a rep at the school that I will be ok, so long as I am not getting financial aid or student loans, which I'm not, and it doesn't interfere with work availability (I'm a bartender, so I would work mostly nights or half shifts anyways). Does anybody know if I screwed myself out of benefits or not? I'm worried sick about it and my friends are tired of me complaining about it, so I figured I would ask opinions on the blogoshere:) Thanks in advance if you know the answer!!

Hi Kelly,

It's Chris. I answer all the unemployment questions around here, but like I've said before .. I'm weak in the "school area" because it's generally considered a claimant only issue so I didn't pay as close attention to A&A decisions.

But I did take a look at the California determination guide to scope out how much the "type of work" effects A&A decisions. I think your school may be right, but I don't think it would be a bad idea for you to read, what I read if you have not already.

Able and Available while attending school?

I have a question though about benefits being stopped.

It was my understanding that benefits could not be stopped until a determination or decision is issued. Did you receive a determination? How can they stop benefits .. make you wait 5 weeks for the interview .. before a determination is issued? Or is the interview the result of a request for reconsideration?

Nov 02, 2009
EDD stopped the check
by: John

Dear Chris,
They actually stopped my check as well, as soon as I check the box indicating that I am attending a school. The interview is for determination of my eligibility, NOT reconsideration.
Let me know if this is legal for EDD to do this.

My answer is too long. I'll post my own comment.

Nov 02, 2009
prescribed form "Notice of Right to Receive Benefits Pending Appeal" DE Form 63155 CC Rev. 3: 6/86)
by: Chris

Hi John,

I'm feeling a little sheepish right now .. because I didn't know the answer as to whether it is legal to stop benefits to decide an eligibility issue .. but I did go looking for an answer .. I'm still not sure I know the answer, but there may be a solution.

I first went to the place I always check first The comparison of state unemployment laws at the USDOL. (opens in new window) I clicked the link for "Appeals". And the one of the first things in that useful little PDF is:

As a result of California Department of Human Resources Development v. Java, once a UI claimant has been held eligible for benefits, such claimant will continue to receive benefits until a decision is issued reversing the determination allowing benefits. Thus, an employer?s appeal will not affect the continuance of payment of benefits unless a decision is issued denying benefits. The majority of state laws specifically provide for the payment of benefits pending an appeal of a determination or decision allowing benefits while other states have either interpreted their laws or have been required by court order to follow this procedure. In all states, this procedure applies to any determination or decision issued allowing benefits.

Therefore, I believe they can stop benefits only if they have issued a determination finding you not able and available.

So I then went to the EDD's Benefit Determination Guide.

Which eventually led me to this CA Code

But this also does not fully answer the question "Can CA legally "suspend" unemployment benefits while you wait weeks for the interview so they can ask the questions to make the "determination".

I question whether this is okay to do because of the information in the very first link stating benefits cannot be stopped without an issued determination to appeal.

But I found something else, which is worth a look. (Be sure to read the "Examples" toward the bottom .. especially #'s 5,6, and 7)

The problem is I can't find the form.

So let me ask this question. Are any of you receiving an "appealable determination before or shortly after your benefits are being cutoff .. pending an interview?

Nov 06, 2009
I'm screwed
by: Kelly

Hi Chris, thanks for the response. I have good news and bad news. I finally got a check on 11/02 with 4 claim forms to backpay me the weeks I was waiting for the interview and it's decision. Btw, it took a whole freaking month for them to get back to me after the interview, so I went 8 weeks without a check (OUCH)! I don't know why they stopped my checks in the meantime, at least I was honest, but it just goes to show that you're better off lying, or withholding the truth so to speak

That's the good news, here's the bad news. I received a notice in the mail 2 days after I got my check saying I'm disqualified from a CTB Extension because I'm not enrolled in school full-time. It has to be 20 hrs or more per week, and I'm just part-time 9 hrs per week. And this is what really has me pissed, they said there IS a demand for my job skills in the current labor market. I'm a bartender, and the bars are so flipping dead with the economy here in CA being the worst I've ever seen and nobody is hiring!

So now I have to go to an appeals hearing and plead my case. I'm thinking if I just tell them I'm not going to school next semester if that would cure it? Or if I withdraw from my classes and enroll in a program that is approved I'll be ok?

Also, have another question bout my claim form. Now on the school question asking if I BEGAN any school or training, I say NO, right? That's what two of my friends have told me, and I can't get through to EDD, but I don't want to answer it wrong and have my crap delayed ANOTHER 8 weeks. Please lemme know, thanks.

Hi Kelly,

I honestly don't know how to answer you. It seems to me this entire thing about school and unemployment benefits is very similar to avoiding land mines.

If you'll take a look at the comment made right before this one .. John asked if it was legal for CA to suspend benefits before a determination is issued to appeal.

Everyone knows that I'm not an attorney .. right? And that I DO NOT provide legal advice, but only general knowledge I already had or the information I find when I research a question.

I don't think it's legal to suspend benefits without a determination. And I certainly don't think a holdup of 8 weeks of benefits which you are entitled to anyway is ACCEPTABLE by any standard ..

There is a thread going on this site about how long it takes to get your money after an appeal hearing in Florida.

One person finally contacted the Attorney General because the AWI kept saying it would be 20 more days before they were made to issue checks.

If you answer that question literally .. No would seem to be the obvious answer .. because you did not BEGIN .. you CONTINUED.

I don't know Kelly. I wish I could be of more help .. I think you should be tenacious and get through to the EDD ask all the questions and then come back her and update me .. so I have somewhere to link to when someone else ask the question..... PLEASE!!!!

Nov 06, 2009
by: Kelly

Yeah, you are correct. I looked online at the EDD site and it says to check no like we thought and that you only check yes the week you start classes.

I'm getting tired of getting the run around, really wish I had never checked that goddamn yes box, and I call and call EDD and can't get through. I emailed them 2 weeks ago with a question and still no response.

I have a friend that's a paralegal that I gave my appeal paperwork to. Apparently, he can research it and let me know what to say at my appeal hearing so I can keep collecting benefits.

He thinks most likely I will need to withdraw from my classes and re-enroll in an EDD approved CTB program, and that I will be fine. But the appeals form says I did not enroll in a CTB program within the first 16 weeks I collected, therefore I'm disqualified from benefits, so I don't think there's any way around it.

The economy is so awful here in San Diego, I dunno-might have to go Anna Nicole, lotsa retired rich old men out here, lol. Oh well, I'm keeping my chin up and trying not to worry about it. I'll wait for my backpay checks I'm gonna get to run out, then I'll worry about it.

Nov 06, 2009
School and Claim questionare before any claim checks issued
by: Sister

I had a previous post on another page, but anyway, it's regarding my brother's claim. He was on disability from 06/17/09 - 09/30/09 and his employer laid him off after discovering that they had no open position with his doctors recommended work limitation. His termination date is 10/28/09, but really has not been physically working since June. Anyway, knowing he would not be able to go back to us 'usual occupation' he enrolled in school and started this week, on Tuesday to be exact. The school is approved on CTB program. On his original claim he stated that he would not be able to work full-time in his 'usual occupation' and stated the reason (doctor recommendation). Then after he sent it realized that not being available for work would mean he would be disqulified for benefits. He sent a comment to the EDD explaining this. Now he has received the calim questionare that asks almost the same questions. Now that he has started school, should he say he is availbale for work to qualify him or should he say he is not because he stated an approved school? I'm just not sure how to help him. He needs to go to school to get training in a new occupation but he needs the money too. Any suggestions??

What does CA say about training benefits and being able and available for work?

CA Training Benefits Read Section G.

Nov 07, 2009
response to relative
by: Alternando

Apologies for the late response.

The California Workforce Partnership has a website that shows which courses you can take and what schools offer them. They are paid by the State (up to $5,000) Many good resources. Since the Fiscal year ends in June it's good to look into these programs in May as you need to take some steps to get into them, but Workforce needs to spend their funds by end of fiscal year or they won't receive the same amount of funds for the following year. My funds were approved. The website for Eligible Training Providers is

You do not need to call EDD to begin this process. You begin the process by visiting your local EDD office or workforce partnership office. Sign up for their services, they require a workshop and interest inventory, an exam of basic skills, and for you to research what you're interested in studying. It's not as hard as it seems. The bureaucracy is the only part you have to be patient with. Hope that helps.

Dec 13, 2009
Unemployment Benefits & Stafford Loans
by: Anonymous

I was let go off my job in June '09, and started collecting unemployment benefits. I started school part time, night classes in August, and checked the box "yes" on the form from unemployment I get every couple of weeks. They stopped my benefits, and it was on a holiday weekend I found this out, I panicked, and called and called until I got through to someone. I was so worried about losing my benefits, as my husband is head injured from a major car accident and is limited in income, and I told them I need my benefits, and that I was only going to school in the evening, so I am available for work. The lady told me NOT to check the box if I am going to school in the evening, only if it's full time, that EDD doesn't want to know. In essence, non-disclosure is the best way to ensure your benefits are NOT stopped. They reinstated my benefits immediately.
On the 2nd note, I recently was awarded a Stafford Loan, which will be disbursed on 12/14/09, but I have not yet received the check from the college. I am still going to school at night, and am in a certificate program. I noticed today when I got my unemployment check, the form I usually receive for me to fill out, the 2nd week has been totally X'd out, and I cannot fill it in. It also said to send the form in on the 13th of December, so I'm only getting paid for the first week. Here it is the weekend, and I am patiently waiting to call first thing Monday morning to find out "why" the form was X'd out on the 2nd week. I am assuming it is because they were notified somehow that I was awarded a Stafford loan, so I am losing my benefits. I'm sick about this! It seems you get screwed every time. I cannot afford to lose my benefits, but I need the money to pay for my schooling from the Stafford Loan, and it surely doesn't pay near enough what I need on an ongoing basis until I'm back to work, which I am looking, but with not success thus far! If getting the Stafford Loan means losing my unemployment benefits, I am going to have to stop the loan or let them know I don't want the loan, in order to keep receiving my benefits. It's all so confusing and there is so much red tape to the process! It's stressful too, which who needs the stress, especially during these economic times??? Since I haven't found out yet, if this is the reason why the 2nd week was stopped, I am just assuming. Can anyone tell me if this happened to them?

Dec 14, 2009
1 evening class is not worth reporting
by: Anonymous

I agree with the comment above. I'm only taking 1 evening class. I was advised by the school counselor that it's better not to start anything with EDD. Unless you're in school full-time and that really restricts you from getting a full-time job, it's better not saying anything. Honestly, I'm only in class for 3 hours a week, it doesn't restrict me from getting a job. I chose not to report and keep getting benefits.

Dec 15, 2009
by: Anonymous

seriously unemployment in California is 12% now and EDD is so overwhelmed with people wanting to file. It's not like they have time to investigate.


That would seem to be a logical conclusion, but I offer a different perspective.

If a state wants to slow the flow of benefits bleeding from their fund .. I think they would investigate everything for the possibility of stopping anyone's benefits ..

The more desperate an economy .. the greater the likelihood fraud will be found .. it's human nature.

If a state is forced to take a loan from the federal government to keep their fund solvent .. so they can continue to pay benefits and if a state is required to pay interest on that loan .. they WILL do everything possible to make sure all receiving benefits, should be receiving benefits.


Dec 20, 2009
Does EDD verify you schooling?
by: Anonymous

Hi all. This is my first post here. I found this document on line. It is from a college here in California. Even though it says "This handout is not an Employment Development Department (EDD) document and is not a substitute for official EDD information" It actually is a lot more helpful and reader friendly than the information from EDD. The one thing that stood out in this document was this:

"7. Important: Since in these matters college policy does not permit releasing student information over the phone, be sure to receive the proper EDD enrollment verification documents by mail. Once classes for you have begun, bring these forms to a Registrar staff person in the campus Admissions and Records office. Get signature(s), and mail back to the EDD as instructed."

I Noticed there policy does not permit releasing information over the phone. I personally do not think that the EDD would know whether or not you are going to school. Imagine the logistics involved. Not only do the resources of the EDD get stretched but the colleges themselves would have to utilize there own resources to report to the EDD on every student. Also, in the case the information were somehow shared via a network....imagine the scope and logistics of having all the community, state and private colleges linked to a government agency like the EDD. I guess it is possible but then there is the issue of privacy. What do you think Chris?

Here is the link

Dec 20, 2009
A very good "Unofficial" document about California trainin benefits.
by: Chris

I made the link live to that "document". It's very easy to understand and clears a lot of confusion up.

The document also raises the point that if you haven't decided yet about what type of school or even for what .. to get the desired result .. you should investigate job markets .. if you're interested in being able to retain benefits while going to school, I think it would be wise to remember that they allow for you to receive benefits while going to school because they want you to get back to work ASAP.

They do base decisions on BLS statistics for growing job market trends .. and the shortages of people trained to fill certain niches.

You mentioned the word "network" and this is always my concern .. when I preach to do things by the book .. quite frankly, the inter-connectivity of networks of databases is spooky to me and I know from my prior job they are "well used" and "far reaching". The company I worked for had state, county and city governments as clients .. including unemployment depts. and some very large US government branches. Have I mention that company is now owned by one of three major credit reporting agencies?

The logistics just aren't that difficult anymore. It's already in place. It just may take some time to catch up with you because of the shortage of humans at the UI Dept. and the time in each day.

These are all considerations just to keep in the back of your mind when you finally talk to an admissions person at a school you're interested in and you need to keep getting your benefits.

Dec 21, 2009
Question for Alternando
by: Anonymous

Since you have already been through the CTB process, I have a question: When you file your continued claim form (AFTER you have been approved), how do you answer the questions on the form? For example, "Was there any reason why you could not accept full time work each workday?" and "Did you look for work?" I am expecting my first check and was wondering about these questions. The person on the phone at EDD only mentioned to mark "No" when asked if any school had been started because I am already in school and already marked that on the week I BEGAN school. I appreciate the feedback or if anyone else out there would know the answer.

Dec 28, 2009
Weekend classes and unemployment
by: Anonymous

I found this site because I had questions about my benefits if I started attending classes. I wanted to post my findings to hopefully help someone else.

I'm in CA, and receiving unemployment. I called the office today because I was told I might lose my benefits if I return to school while collecting UEI. I have registered for weekend classes beginning next month.

The agent asked my profession. I was an Administrative Assistant. I told her I hadn't worked weekends in the last 15 years. She said my weekend classes would not be a problem and that I should NOT mark my claim form that I started attending school. She said it would be confusing.

She said she would put notes in my file and that I should check into the CTB program. She said I might be able to get funds for my schooling.

Hope this helps someone.

Thank you .. that seems to be the common response from the EDD ..

Dec 28, 2009
Response to anonymous who directed a ? at me
by: Anonymous

If you were approved for CTB then they are aware of the fact that you will be attending school and they have approved your funds. You were up front with them in regards to your schooling. You should mark the slips as the representative suggested you mark it. You mentioned No for new schooling. If you're still looking for work then mark still looking for work, regardless of what your CTB funded school hours are you are still looking for work, and that does not interrupt your ability to work.

CTB is different than just any school hours as EDD is paying for them. They make it pretty difficult to get both CTB funding and EDD funding but if you have paperwork submitted within the first 16 weeks of getting on with EDD then that's when they will allow it (at least that's what they told me). As for me I didn't have to fill in any sheets because my CTB funded school only lasted a month so by the time I had my interview on the decision of whether it would allow for back payments my schooling was over and didn't have to mention whether there was anything preventing me from finding full time work.

Dec 28, 2009
Thank you
by: Anonymous

Although my class in on their 'approved' list, I am paying for my own classes and the course is full-time for 9 months. I appreciated your answer. Thank you!

Jan 03, 2010
DO NOT mark yes to school!
by: Anonymous

From my own personal experience, in the past I have checked the 'going to school' box (just once will do it) on my biweekly form. BIG MISTAKE! My UI benefits were prematurely ended soon after.

In retrospect, I regret having marked it and would've marked 'no' even if I was going to school. Its ridiculous...I'm trying to make myself as marketable as possible and get outta the hole but instead I get punished as a result? The system needs to be fixed.

So to summarize, I personally say DO NOT mark 'yes, I'm going to school' box!

Jan 04, 2010
Unemployed and in School receiving ALL benefits
by: Jennifer

Dear Everyone,

I have a very fortunate experience in this situation. About a year ago, I was laid off from my job while I was a full-time student. I was granted unemployment and am still continuing school (almost done!) When unemployment found out I was in school, the interviewer over the phone asked when I was in school, and if it would get in the way of my finding a job. When I mentioned that it was an after hours (night school) and that I could switch to online if needed, she said it shouldn't be a problem. When I received my first check, the box asking about school confused me. When I asked the unemployment office if I should check it, they stated that I was not starting school, and it had already been noted on my file, so to answer this one state NO!

On the other hand, a friend who just got laid off was denied unemployment because of her student status, despite her after hours classes as well. This is a new addition to the unemployment rejection laws because of the percentage of people whom are on this aid. If you are a student who is recently laid off, expect to get rejected the first round, and challenge it thereafter. This is nothing on line which you can find. Just friendly information which I thought would be helpful.

Mar 10, 2010
Got my denial letter today
by: Frustrated!

My story is similar to most that have posted here. I was laid off from work on Nov 2009 and started collecting UI.
I decided to go back to school in Feb 2010 and was unsure of what I wanted to do so I went on the EDD website and found a local school in my area (vocational school- medical professionals) "thinking" because I went thru their website that I was doing things the correct way only got me in the position that I am in now.

The minute I checked "YES" on the claim form they immediately stopped my benefits and mailed a letter for a phone interview 2 weeks after where they asked several questions about the hours of school, which are 26 hours a week. I DID tell her that I was available for full time work and if I had to drop out of school in order to work I would do so. I made this clear to her that work was a priority and that I was still available to work although I was now attending school. She did state that I would have to be available for NORMAL WORK HOURS, but who defines normal work hours? What if I was offered a full time job working after school being that school ends at 3pm and I only go 3 days a week (lady was rude and didn't care about me or my situation). If i had to work late nights and go to school during the day, I would....!!!!!

I have a 10 year old daughter with no source of income coming in, my stress was how will I feed my daughter? I told this rude lady that it had been 3 weeks since I had received a check and all she told me was you will receive a letter in the mail 7-10 days indicating whether or not I would still be eligible for benefits. I got my Denial letter today (Section 1253c) and now I have to appeal.

What do you recommend that I say in my appeal? Can they immediately stop sending me checks once I answered YES that I started attending school? It has been 5-6 weeks now that I haven't received a check and now that I have been denied I know I won't be receiving anything until I appeal and thats only if it works in my favor. It was my understanding that they can stop sending checks once you are denied, am I wrong?

Bottom line is I must now drop out of school and hope that I can get back my benefits.

CA really needs to do something about how they handle these cases, I'm not on UI by choice I was laid off and cannot find work so I thought if I went back to school to get trained to become an LVN this would solve my problem quickly and I would NEVER have to be on unemployment again! The Medical field is always in demand and if I did ever lose my job again as an LVN at least I can go to another Hospital/ Hospice/ Doctors office, the opportunities are endless in the medical field...... I wouldn't have to worry about work and EDD wouldn't have to worry about me having to collect.

This is my first time ever getting laid off and though I am not alone, I truly thought I was going about this the right way. I thought being honest would only in return pay off, it only back fired.

Mar 11, 2010
It's happening everywhere.
by: Chris

Have you ever noticed this page on the EDD website? They have a category for "suggestions, complaints and comments.

Probably won't do any good, but it might feel good to get it off your chest.

"Normal hours" are what is normal to the occupation you became unemployed from .. at least that's the easiest way to look at it.

I agree wholeheartedly that something needs to be done about this .. I just don't know what would work.

I had a conversation with someone today that expressed the same frustration and was wondering why the news never reports on this kind of stuff.

And it's not just California .. it's happening everywhere. The unemployment departments are a big problem for unemployed people and they shouldn't be a hindrance to helping people get back to work.

Able and available is an eligibility condition that can be lifted .. you might also call to find out about getting your appeal pushed by claiming financial hardship .. they might hurry it along.

As far as what your appeal should say .. I suggest you read AA40 in the determination guide so you understand your issue first.

Oct 14, 2010
just about to start school
by: Anonymous

I was working near full time during the closure of my store and I started getting unemployment benefits after I filed and such. I moved for school, but it wasn't starting for a few months and I continued to look for a job up until now. I guess I'll be checking that yes box as I am starting full time school during my next unemployment form. It was nice having all this to read to know what I am in for. Hopefully the places I applied will actually get back to me because without the benefits things will definitely be tougher during school. That's too bad they can't support you going back to school, even with a reduced benefit, as school would thus help you get a better job in the long run with a bachelors degree and such.

Jan 17, 2011
California, U I Benefits, and Schooling
by: Anonymous CA

I have dealt with this, too. Cali has many guidelines. I went to school last year for three months. They ask where attending, time going, length off program, Name of program, if it is similar to former work, if it is going to pull away from present work field availability hours, and if demand. I went through this already. I had to cancel schooling because it was similar to job. I was upgrading skills and they questioned it. They wanted to know why I was taking courses in Filing, Accounting, and Quickbooks. I told them I was attempting to get office work in similar field. They wanted me to change fields into something not familiar to me ( Medical, Pharmacy) I tried it for two days and resigned from classes. The EDD logic does not make any sense. Now I am taking online classes. The school is accredited. I didnt tell them. I felt no need.

Feb 08, 2011
Keep your business to yourself
by: Anonymous

Rec'vn benefits aprx 3months.. Decided to get in WIA training program... I checked into accrediated school.. I checked YES on my form thinkn Im doing the honest right thing... BIG benefits stopped immediately... I was told I have to have interview and go through a determination of being elgible for benefits for attending school during normal business hours... The process takes aprx 4weeks or longer... It was impossible for me to go weeks without funds... So I called EDD told them Im unable to attend school at this time doto me not having full amount to pay for class... The next day my check was issued... My honest opinion is if you can afford to wait aprx 4-8weeks to get a determination of benefits then yes tell them... Just be prepared for your benefits to temporarily stop....marking that yes box can cost you... Just goto school... Dont tell them... Try to finish schooling fast as you can...

Feb 08, 2011
by: bodo

All they ask is whether you "Started" a class or training. Makes sense to me to just mark yes, get that interview over with, and keep getting your benefits.

If you are in fact enrolled 9-5, say you're looking for a night job.

Hi bodo,

Although I tend to agree with you on just getting the interview out of the way for peace of mind going forward .. "say you're looking for a night job" is not going to work if your prior experience and training or the type of job you used to do is mostly done during the day.

So, it's very important to understand the concepts of at least two possible unemployment issues before the interview.

Able and Available and Suitable Work

Sep 28, 2012
CA Unemployment-Online School_
by: Anonymous

I have been doing a lot of reading over the past few days on how attending school impacts your unemployment benefits. Can someone please help me. Im sure there must be someone with the knowledge or perhaps have gone through the same situations as I.

I am on an extension for unemployment. Started online schooling 5 weeks ago. However, I had not chosen the famous " Yes" option when it came to schooling up until last week when I filed my claim. To my surprise, my payment did not post to my EDD debit card. And of course, I am in total panic, with rent coming up and extensions having been filed to pay all basic utilities.

I contacted unemployment, where a very pleasant representative ( which is not usual), explained to me that my funds had been placed on hold until unemployment can determine if my schooling conflicts with being a full time employee. I had to contact the online entity that I attend to fill out a FERPA form so they may release my information to unemployment.

I have read several posts, in which individuals indicate, that regardless if the program is online or on campus, attending school; if it is not a tech or vocational institution you are disqualified for benefits. Is this correct?

I was told by the nice representative, that once they verify that schooling does not indeed affect my ability to become a full time status, funds that were held can be released as soon as the following day. Does anyone know anything about this? Please help........

Dec 07, 2012
Be truthful
by: Maggie

I've been collecting UI benefits for over a year now and in school at the same time. I reported to EDD that I begin attending school, yes they stopped my benefits then had an interview and I was lucky enough to hear that I'm still legible to collect UI. I was planning to deny that I go to school but I've realized that its worth not to tell the truth because I am pretty much sure that they will know as soon as you get a job based on garnishing from the federal taxes and when you file your taxes it will show everything. So the bottomline here is to be honest.

Jan 25, 2013
EDD Benefits
by: Anonymous

Ok, so my experience with the EDD Department is getting me a little pissed off. They don't return phone calls, emails, nor do they take your phone calls.

So, I decided to return to school because I haven't been able to find a job since two months. So, to benefit myself in getting more training for the degree I'd like, I decided to go back to school.

I got my phone interview today and unbelievable this lady was RUDE!!!!!! Not willing to answer questions regarding as to Why you weren't getting paid, and refuses to even answer any questions you have regarding if you will or will not get benefits while you attend school.

She asked several questions:
1) What classes you were taking?
2) How much you are paying for school?
3) What times are your classes?
4) If you were going to part time school and if you find a full time job, are you willing to forget about school? This questions threw me off, because the purpose of going back to school is to get better training for something I've been dying to get into. So, I told her that I'm willing and still looking for a part time job at the same time going back to school. Her answer: AN ATTITUDE!!!!!! with a HUMPH!!!!! behind that. And I quote, her attitude was like, sarcastically, "Well, you're not working and haven't found a job". Well, no shit lady, I haven't found a job, because no one is hiring at this time, for the position I'm looking for. So, I asked her if I would be getting benefits after this, because they stopped, literally stopped paying me my benefits as soon as I filled out that I was returning to school. At this point, I have not been paid for this month. My bills and rent are due and they've stopped cold turkey to pay me, my benefits. She told me nastily that I'd have to wait for the letter to see if I'm eligible to receive benefits or not. She told me within 2 - 4 weeks that the letter would come in. Pardon my language, but what a BITCH!!!!!!!
I was the one to get laid off, I can't very well sit at home and watch television and suck on some assholes dick mind you. Of course, I deserve the money it's my money that I worked 9 freakin years for. You have to pay someone who is laid off. I wasn't fired, terminated for my position, I was laid off and am getting training for my skills that I need in my field. So, I tried asking her another question and she said, being nasty to me, "I'm not here to answer YOUR questions, I'm on the phone just to do an interview with you."
If they would pick up the phone or email me back would be great, they don't do any of it. I've written since the beginning of this month. 01/2013. I just received my first email from them that I wrote back in 12/2012, TWO days ago. How ridiculous is that. This was my experience. So, now I'm in the waiting period. I have no income coming in or coming in from EDD. Total amount due to me as of this month is $1200.00 by 01/31/2013. So, if you want to know why I'm so pissed, this is the reason.

Jan 25, 2013
Did you really limit yourself to Part Time Work?
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

I'd be the last one to tell you, you shouldn't be pissed .. Hell, that was my initial inspiration for starting this website .. being pissed.

Not at the UI dept. per say because I knew just what they needed from me, but my employer that protested my benefits after they laid me off in 2006 .. that protest truly did piss me off .. and offended me on a personal level .. because i was good at my job .. They even recalled me 20 weeks later .. but as a permatemp without benefits.

Talk about fanning the fire.

Unfortunately, what happened to you is not an unusually experience if from the stories I've heard about rude EDD claim interviewers ..

Let me know if she redetermines and disqualifies.

I'm concerned your answer that you're looking for "part-time work" and the secondary fact you and she didn't hit it off exactly, could hurt.

California does have a part-time worker provision, (see table 5/14). However, I'm not so certain it will cover you in this situation or anyone restricting themselves to part-time work collecting extensions.

Feb 05, 2013
Thinking of making the box "no" on going to school cause im only taking a 2 hour class on T TH
by: Anonymous

So right now I'm trying to figure out if I should mark "no" on my file claim for "have you began attending any kind of school or training". I'm taking 2 classes during the day 11 am to 1pm that are 2 hours long. What should I do and what do you think I should do? Would the EDD find out if I'm going to school or not? Or how would they find out?
After reading on many forums and this one. It seems some people done it, but never really said if EDD found out? Can someone help me with this one? I plan on mailing my claim form on Thursday. And oh yeah I'm in CA

Feb 05, 2013
It's your conscience - not mine.
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

Maybe someone from CA will read this and confirm the choice you're leaning to. However I'll try to paint the issues that are of concern to the EDD when you check the yes box .. since that should be the case if you want to avoid the potential of the risk of being guilty of fraud.

Are you able and available for suitable work

Take note, suitable work depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is what hours and days your typical occupation which you have prior experience in .. operate.

Distance to travel, time to travel, pay, physical limitations etc., also have an impact on what makes work suitable .. or not.

Regardless, if the EDD thinks those classes which occur in the middle of the day would interfere with your ability to accept suitable work, they usually ask what you would do if you received an offer of work. Would you change your schedule? Would you give up school if you had to choose? The answer should be obvious when you know they are trying to determine your A&A.

The reason people mark no, when in fact they are going to school is because the EDD seems to think it's okay to suspend benefits until they resolve the eligibility question marking "yes" creates, however, people also have heard the horror stories about waiting weeks for the interview they conduct to resolve the eligibility issue before an appealable determination is ever issued .. making it weeks more until a hearing can be held to combat the unfavorable determ.

As for the "will .. how do they know".

I always ask if you accepted a grant or government student loan to attend school (IRS Tax Returns), or if anyone at the company paying for the bulk of your benefits would be likely, to use the "report fraud" link or hotline on the EDD's website.

And in closing .. it's not going to school while collecting California benefits that actually becomes an insurmountable eligibility issue. It's the misrepresentation issue (intentional fraud) determination that will be sent if they do find out somehow.

How do you explain the box checked no then? A mistake? The same one, the rest of those included amongst the "discouraged" checked if they were collecting and going to school at the same time?

If there's one thing all UI depts seem to be getting better at .. it's the fraud detection efforts that were ramped up during the recession.

Ever heard of random benefits audit form DE 1296B?

Whatever you decide, I wish you well.

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