In California, the Employment Development Department is the state office that manages unemployment claims. As your unemployment benefits run out in the state, EDD assists you to obtain a federal extension of benefits. Extended unemployment benefits are only available if you remain unemployed.
End of Regular Unemployment Claim
Your initial unemployment claim in California offers up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. If you remain unemployed when you exhaust those benefits, you move on to federal extended unemployment benefits, known as emergency unemployment compensation, or EUC. In California, you do not need to file an application for EUC benefits because the Employment Development Department automatically files for this on your behalf. With EUC benefits, you keep the same weekly benefit amount and must complete the same bi-weekly claim forms.
Up to 53 weeks of additional unemployment benefits are available as part of EUC. These benefits are in four separate tiers: Tier 1 is up to 20 weeks; Tier 2 is up to 14 weeks; Tier 3 is up to 13 weeks; and Tier 4 is up to 6 weeks. For availability of Tier 3, California needs to have an unemployment rate of at least 6 percent for a 3-month seasonally adjusted total or a 13-week insured unemployment rate of at least 4 percent. Availability of Tier 4 requires a minimum unemployment rate of 8.5 percent for a 3-month seasonally adjusted total or a 13-week insured unemployment rate of at least 6 percent. As you reach the end of each tier of benefits, you do not have to file any type of application for benefits as you automatically move to the next tier as long as you remain unemployed.
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End of EUC Benefits
Once you reach the end of Tier 4 EUC benefits, you may be eligible for state extended benefits if you remain unemployed. In California, FED-ED is the state extended benefits program. Similar to the EUC benefits, you do not need to apply for FED-ED benefits because filing for the application is automatic. Weekly benefit amounts for FED-ED benefits remains the same as your EUC and regular unemployment amounts. FED-ED offers up to 20 weeks of additional benefits.
End of FED-ED Benefits
Once you reach the end of FED-ED benefits in California, no additional extended benefit programs are available. On your last benefit payment, you will receive a notice letting you know that you have exhausted all available benefits. If you have worked at any period during your unemployment claim, such as taking a seasonal job or temporary position, you may be eligible to file a new claim. If so, your communication from the EDD will inform you of this. If not, you will receive no further benefit checks.