How to apply for unemployment insurance in Calif.


SAN DIEGO — Nearly 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week as the coronavirus pandemic shutters businesses across the country.

If you lost work due to the outbreak and you’ve been waiting to file your claim, there is a way to complete the process online, which is what the state recommends. Click on the hyperlinks in this story to learn more about each step:

Workers want to head to the Employment Development Department website for the state of California to start.

Users will be asked to make an account with Benefit Programs Online — that’s the department’s portal for filing forms. Registering will give you access to UI Online, which is where you can manage your unemployment insurance claim.

If you meet certain minimum requirements — including being unemployed through no fault of your own and ready to start work again — you will be able to submit a claim. View the full eligibility details here.

Some barriers have already been removed: If you temporarily lost work due to the pandemic but plan to return to the same job, you are not required to be “actively searching” for work, the way you are in the typical process. The state has also waived the one-week waiting period to help get people relief more quickly.

You will need to provide some information, including when you last worked, where and how much you made. View the full list of details you need to provide here.

Once you’ve successfully filed for unemployment insurance, you will receive between $40 and $450 each week, depending on your income and other factors. A calculator on the department’s website can help you determine how much you will likely gain.

If you have more questions — including about disability insurance due to coronavirus, or whether you’re entitled to sick leave while your child is home from school — the department has a detailed FAQ.

More of a visual learner? Scroll to the bottom of this page for YouTube guides to making your account and filing for unemployment in several languages.

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