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How to File for Unemployment in California During Coronavirus Pandemic

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a nasty virus as of late, claiming just over 18,870 lives in the USA as of April 11, 2020. Due to the social distancing measures enforced by local, state, and federal authorities, many individuals cannot work and businesses big and small are forced to close up shop as cases continue to rise exponentially. Many large corporations and small businesses were forced to close up shop, causing a huge influx of victims of unemployment. Within just 3 weeks, unemployment numbers have skyrocketed to over 17 million claims and counting.

The economy has taken a hit and many individuals have found themselves out of a job layoff or furloughed during this economic crisis during the global pandemic. The question that commonly gets asked now is how do I file for unemployment in California? Follow this simple guide step-by-step on how to file for unemployment in California during this coronavirus pandemic and brace yourself for the worst to come.

How to file for unemployment in California if I was laid off or furloughed?

In order to file for unemployment benefits, you need to follow certain eligibility requirements to successfully file a claim.

  • Totally or partially unemployed.
  • Unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Physically able to work.
  • Available for work.
  • Ready and willing to accept work immediately.
  • Actively looking for work.

If you have followed all these steps, you may proceed to the next step of certifying for these benefits weekly.

Weekly benefits certification requirements

  • Physically able to work.
  • Available for work.
  • Ready and willing to accept work immediately.
  • Actively looking for work each week benefits are claimed.

For any reason you are unable to certify that you are job searching, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits so make sure each week you certify for unemployment benefits so you are eligible to receive compensation.

Once you have determined you are eligible, you can start filing a claim through the government portal via online, by phone, mail, or fax. Visit the Employment Development Department State of California’s website for more information on how to successfully file an unemployment insurance claim.

How much unemployment compensation will I receive?

The amount of wages you will receive depends on your employer’s unemployment insurance. Thus, the amount of compensation you will receive will vary for every individual. We recommend using this calculator to determine how much compensation you would receive before filing.

How do I qualify for the extra $600 weekly benefit?

Congress recently passed a historic $2.2 trillion relief package to help individuals that were laid off and absolutely need extra cash flow for epic centers hit the hardest by the coronavirus. There is nothing extra you need to do if you qualify and the extra weekly $600 will be paid retroactively as early as March 29. All you have to do is simply file for unemployment benefits and just remember to certify weekly to receive your extra $600 benefits if you qualify.


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Just another aspiring small business owner and amateur photographer blogging in an attempt to break down personal finance lingo.

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