Certifying Unemployment Benefits in California

The guidelines to certify for regular unemployment insurance vary from state to state. If you don’t read and follow each detail thoroughly, even one mistake could end in the loss of your temporary financial security. Regarding California unemployment benefits, you must meet specific requirements to be eligible to receive funds. If you’re unfamiliar with the Employment Development Department (or the EDD), read further for a quick rundown to ensure your claim remains valid.

Gather Your Documentation

Whether you were unfairly laid off or terminated from your job, you should have the required documents, which you used to file an unemployment claim, prepared. Also, you have to verify your previous employer subjected you to involuntary job loss. If you quit, you still have to prove that you had a valid reason to do so. Whether you experienced poor work conditions or discrimination, you have to have a justifiable excuse.

Valid forms of documentation are your social security card, proof of U.S. citizenship or residency (passport or green card), PIN, and valid driver’s license (or a non-driver photo ID card). You need to keep all of your records within reach when needed.

Certify On Time

You’re required to complete an eligibility inquiry every two weeks. If you forget or cannot answer the list of questions, you could lose your benefits. To avoid having to reopen a claim, confirm you meet the requirements for each interview session. You also have to report your wages to qualify. You can face disqualification even while your claim is active if you fail to follow the guidelines. There are three standard forms of contact:

  • Online
  • Phone
  • Mail
  • In-Person

Online certification is the quickest method to fulfill your responsibility of communication. If you prefer to visit the EDD, you should make an appointment in advance to reserve a time to speak with an assistant. A face-to-face method is an urgent last resort (aside from using snail mail) if you don’t have internet access or an active phone. You would have to identify yourself to validate your recipient status.

Provide Updates

The EDD advises all recipients to search for new employment while receiving funds. Not only do you have to confirm that you’re regularly applying, but you also have to initiate contact every two weeks. Your effort to find a job is part of the process to continue to receive benefits. It also shows you aren’t relying on the government for support if you’re physically able to work.