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How long can I collect unemployment, in California

by Anonymous

I am receiving unemployment right now, and it states that is expires in Nov. of 2009. However, I see a dollar amount that will only last until the end of the month...What does this mean? I'm a going to lose the unemployment benefits due to lack of funds, or does the government assistance kick in???

Hi Anonymous,

That's a good basic question.

Regular benefits vary in duration from state to state, but generally, if you worked a regular full-time job for at least eighteen months prior to the job ending, the duration is 26 weeks if you don't find any type of work.

A "benefit year" is just that, one year. This means if you collect the "full amount" without any wages coming in (which could make partial unemployment possible)you're going to run out or exhaust the regular benefits before the "benefit year" actually ends.

Normally, when things are good and extensions are not available, it is hard to qualify for a second benefit year in California. See "Monetary Eligibility here for state by state requirements

But Californians now have at minimum a 20 week extension available if they exhaust benefits. You can read about extensions here.

Thanks for the question.


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Jun 09, 2009
temporary work and unemployment extensions in California.
by: Anonymous

Related to this question, I have started collecting my first extension and may start a temporary job soon. My benefit year ends Oct 2009, if the job lasts two months, July and August, will I continue to receive benefits where I left off (with the first extension)? And will the amount I collect be the same?

Hi Anonymous,

I am not as familar with how extensions work. The unemployment extensions that exist at present are unprecedented and confusing, but I think I found a page at the EDD that addresses what may become an issue when your benefit year ends.

It says "Federal law does not allow payments to be made on a federal extended benefit claim once you are qualified to file a new regular claim in any state".

So although I do not think the temporary work will have an impact on whether you can continue to collect your unemployment benefits at your present amount, I think you may need to be concerned with what you will be getting if you have to file another claim in October.

A new benefit year means a new base period which is how the weekly benefit amount is determined.

You've been unemployed for a year and California's base period is the first 4 of the last five completed quarters. If you have wages only in July and August and in the lag period from your first claim it will have an effect on how much you will be able to collect after the new claim is filed.

Your Govenor did sign legislation on March 27, 2009 which created another type of extension .. called FED-ED.

From what I read, this may allow you to continue collecting at your present rate if you have to file a new claim.

Sorry I can't give a more definitive answer. Prior to this current economy, extensions of any kind .. state or federal .. had triggers that could be compared to a rusty trigger. It had to get this bad to pull the trigger.

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