Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance

Preguntas frecuentes sobre desempleo en español/ FAQ in Chinese

If I have a problem with my Unemployment Insurance what should I do?

For most problems with unemployment, getting through to a UI rep is the only way to solve your problem. This is very difficult right now but these are the options to contact them.

Call the numbers

1-800-300-5616 (can open your claim, 8 am to 12pm), 1-833-978-2511 (general line, 8am to 8pm)

Call later in the evening to the 833 number, around 7

It will take a long long time to get through, don’t give up

Ask a question on UI Online

Click the top right Contact Us box

Select under Question Category: Claim Questions

Then select Question Topic: pick the question that best describes your issue (for example “filed a claim, no response” or “made a mistake while filing an application”)

Mail in an appeal

You can download the Appeal Form (DE 1000M) (PDF) or use the copy included with each Notice of Determination that you receive. Mail your appeal to the return address shown on the decision notice.

You can also write an appeal letter with all the following information and mail to the return address on the Notice of Determination. 

Full name.

Address.

Phone number.

Social Security number.

The name and mailing address of any representative.

The reason for your appeal.

A copy of the decision you are appealing or the date of the decision.

Any request for language assistance or special accommodations.

You must submit the appeal within 30 days after the date on the Notice of Determination. If more than 30 days have passed, include the reason you could not submit it earlier. 

More information here

Do I have to certify for benefits?

The EDD suspended the requirement to certify weekly between March 14 and May 9, but starting the week of May 10, you must certify. However, you still need to certify if you did work. 

How to certify depends on whether you signed up for by mail or online. If you signed up to certify online then when you log onto the EDD website and click UI, there will be a place that says “You have weeks to certify” and you click there. 

If you signed up for UI by mail you will receive a form to certify for certain weeks. It is really important to be sure to fill these out and send them back.

Do I need to say I’m looking for work?

The EDD says you don’t need to look for work. However, it may be better to say yes, that you are looking because the system can get confused. 

EDD says– “You should answer the question truthfully. Given the unique economic situation and lack of available work created by COVID-19, the EDD has been able to adjust our usual eligibility requirements to allow us to automatically process a large volume of claims. You will not be penalized if you answer ‘no’ to the question about looking for work and will be paid benefits for that week if you meet all other eligibility requirements.” 

Do I need to put my resume on Caljobs?

On the EDD website it lists that you currently do not need to upload a resume, it is optional. If you can do it, it is a good idea. Information on how to register for Caljobs is here. 

What if my debit card won’t come?

Call Bank of America, 1-866-333-4606 bank of America EDD debit card: if you don’t have a card number, remain silent when it asks, then report a lost or stolen card. This is the best way to speak with a person.

If you have ever gotten unemployment in the past, they will put it on that card. If you no longer have that card you will have to request a new one by calling the number above.

What if I get disqualified?

There are many possible reasons you could have been disqualified. Sometimes it has to do with EDD wanting to verify your identity. You should call EDD to resolve the issue, they will likely need more information from you. It is also possible that EDD has determined you did not earn enough, you quit voluntarily, or you turned down work. Regardless, you should call 1-800-300-5616 and 1-833-978-2511. 

You should appeal the disqualification if you can’t get through on the phone. You must appeal within 30 calendar days of the date of notice. 

How do I appeal?

You can download the Appeal Form (DE 1000M) (PDF) or use the copy included with each Notice of Determination that you receive. Mail your appeal to the return address shown on the decision notice.

You can also write an appeal letter with all the following information and mail to the return address on the Notice of Determination. 

Full name.

Address.

Phone number.

Social Security number.

The reason for your appeal.

A copy of the decision you are appealing or the date of the decision.

Any request for language assistance or special accommodations.

You must submit the appeal within 30 days of the date on the Notice of Determination.

More information here

What if I get tips?

Most members of UNITE HERE Local 2850’s paychecks include their tips. Make sure to include tips when you report your income. Your UI allotment is based on your reported income not your hourly rate so if you reported your tips then they will be put towards your UI allotment calculation. 

What if I have another full time job?

If you work two jobs and are currently getting paid for your full time job but not your part time job you could qualify for unemployment, but only if your part time job is more than 25% of your income. It is unlikely but it can’t hurt to apply. 

Do I need to interview with an EDD rep?

No. 

How can I transfer my unemployment money to my bank account?

You can set up a one-time or recurring direct deposit transfer to the financial institution of your choice at no cost to you. Visit Bank of America EDD Debit Card or call Bank of America Debit Card Customer Service  at the phone number on the back of your card or at 1-866-333-4606

What if I filed another claim within the past year?

You need to reopen that claim. Don’t cancel your claim. 

What if my address is wrong?

You can change the address in UI Online. Go to Personal profile, click on contact information, and select change contact information. 

You can also do it by calling 1-833-978-2511 or 1-800-300-5616 or by mailing a letter with your name, Social Security number, new address and/or phone number and your signature to 

UI Consolidated Service Center – North

PO Box 269017

Sacramento, CA 95826

What if I didn’t get a confirmation number/ customer account number?

The confirmation number should come up when you finish an online application. This is different from a Customer Account number, which comes in the mail. It is supposed to arrive 10 days after filing. 

What if I qualify for $0?

Often, an award of $0 means EDD does not have your wage records from your employer or needs further verification of your identity. You should call 1-800-300-5616 and 1-833-978-2511. 

What if it says pending?

After a claimant certifies for benefits through UI Online, the EDD sets the certification to “pending” in the system. This is because the EDD must review your responses to the certification questions in order to determine your continued eligibility for UI benefits, as required by law. Although the online system may do this automatically depending on your claim and how you responded to the eligibility questions, in some cases the certification must be reviewed by EDD staff. Once your certification is reviewed (either automatically or by staff), your benefits payment can be processed.

What if I think I am getting the wrong UI weekly amount?

When you file for UI you will receive a letter in the mail confirming your income since Jan 2019- that will determine how much you recieve. If the letter is incorrect the form allows you to contest the amount and mail it back in. You will need to send them evidence of the income that is missed (paystubs, etc.) and write a brief description of what is listed incorrectly on the form, i.e. one of the quarters is listing the incorrect gross income or one you have multiple jobs and it is only listing income from one of those jobs. 

What if I am locked out of my UI online account or have another technological problem?

Call EDD tech support at 1-855-327-7058. 

Numbers to call for help:

1-800-300-5616- main number

1-833-978-2511- general help

1-510-794-3669- Fremont office

1-510-564-0500- Oakland office

1-855-327-7058- EDD tech support

1-800-326-8937- Spanish main number

1-866-333-4606 bank of America EDD debit card: if you don’t have a card number, remain silent when it asks, then report a lost or stolen card

1-510-768-4412- Oakland Workforce development career center