Can I delay filing for unemployment in CA to change my base period?
I was just laid off of a job that I have been at for 4 months (December 08 – April 09). Prior to that, I was on Worker’s Comp for approximately 2 years after a back injury and having back surgery. If I understand the CA requirements correctly, if I file for unemployment comp now, my base period would be Jan 08 – Dec 08 and I don’t think that I made enough in December to qualify. But – can I wait to file my claim in July (if I’m still unemployed, of course) and have my base period be April 08 – March 09? I believe that I would then be eligible, as I would have a full quarter of wages. If I cannot do this, do I have any other options considering I was disabled and on Worker’s Comp – and couldn’t work prior to my doctor’s release in October?
Yes you can wait to file and you are the first person that has ever asked that question. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this all over the place, but nobody’s ever asked about it:) Monetary Requirements for all fifty states can be found at the USDOL
If a person is not going to go belly up immediately, I think they should always consider the base period before filing. I know this goes against the typical advice of “file right away”, but it only takes a few minutes to consider the implications .. especially if you received a large raise or started your job as a part-timer and then went full-time.
Your situation is one of the areas that make unemployment unequal from state to state.
Some states actually have alternative or extended base period options. The latter is specifically intended to help people in your precise situation, but California does have temporary disability unemployment insurance (this is what employees pay for with payroll deductions). California is one of only five states plus Puerto Rico that has such a program.
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