California (CA) Employment Development Department (EDD) – Additional $600 FPUC Unemployment and PUA Benefits

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) manages the Unemployment Insurance (UI) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs for the State of California. SDI includes both Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL). You can file a claim for all of these programs online, by phone, or by mail.

COVID 19 Enhanced Benefits and Payment Issues

EDD has reviewed the federal CARES Act and has is now compliant with the following enhanced unemployment programs:

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for
Unemployment benefits, for example independent contractors, and self-employed and “gig” workers. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was released in California effective April 28, 2020.
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): provides an additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all recipients of Unemployment Insurance; retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020.
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients. The EDD initiated phase one of the PEUC roll-out on May 27. The department is now automatically reviewing regular UI claims in our system for those with a benefit year that started on or after June 2, 2019, and that have run out of all available benefits.

The EDD offers a wide variety of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) including those about the PUA program designed for the self-employed, as well as how eligibility for unemployment benefits can be impacted with a worker’s return to work or refusal to return to work.

If you qualify for PUA the initial payments you will receive are as follows (Phased)

  • $167.00 per week, for each week from February 2, 2020 to March 28, 2020 that you were unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.
  • $167.00 plus $600 per week, for each week from March 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason.
  • $167.00 per week, for each week from July 26, 2020 to December 26, 2020, that you are unemployed due to a COVID-19 related reason, up to a total of 39 weeks (minus any weeks of regular UI and certain extended UI benefits that you have received).

If you qualify for your claim to be backdated to an earlier PUA effective date based on your last day of work, you could receive payment for prior weeks you were unemployed due to COVID-19. You will be required to provide the EDD eligibility information every two weeks. This is known as certifying for benefits.

After these initial payments, depending on your prior earnings, your weekly amount of $167.00 per week may be increased. You will have an opportunity to certify your prior income on your PUA application. The EDD is working to establish efficient procedures to determine if an increase to the weekly PUA amount will be appropriate after an individual receives the initial weekly amount. In addition to applying to future benefits, any increase from the $167 amount also applies retroactively. This means that you may also receive payment to make up the difference you should have been paid if your benefits had initially been based on the increased amount. You will be notified of any increase that you are entitled to receive.

Example: If you apply for PUA on April 28, the first day it will be available, and you certify you were unemployed due to COVID-19 since March 8, you have been unemployed for seven full weeks. If you meet the COVID-19-related criteria for PUA, we will calculate your amount as follows—

March 8 to March 28 = 3 weeks x $167/week = $501
March 29 to April 25 = 4 weeks x $167/week (with extra $600) = $3,068

TOTAL: $3,569 (from March 8 to April 25)


Challenges with CA EDD Payments Continue

The EDD is sending the following letter to people having challenges receiving the $600 payments and/or getting extended benefits. To help navigate the mandated requirements, the EDD provided the following guidance to assist workers. It all depends on when you exhausted your benefits, and when your benefit year expires.

1. If you received your last benefit payment for weeks you spent unemployed between February 2 and March 21, but are still within the one year that your claim is good for, you could be eligible for 13 weeks of PUA benefits for the weeks you are eligible for between February 2, 2020 and March 28, 2020. While you will not be able to apply for PUA through UI Online, the EDD will send you a Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Award and a separate document you’ll need to complete to give EDD additional details that we don’t already have from you to meet PUA requirements. Watch for further updates soon.

2. If you received your last benefit payment for weeks you spent unemployed on or after March 21 and are still within your benefit year, you will not meet federal requirements for PUA. But the EDD will automatically file an extension claim for you as soon as it’s available since we will already have your information needed. You will receive a notice from EDD when that claim has been filed and when you can certify for PEUC benefit payments.

3. If you ran out of benefits before February 2 and are still within your benefit year, you most likely will not be eligible for PUA because you have to verify your unemployment is a direct result of the pandemic. However, you may be eligible for the new federal 13-week extension. The EDD will notify you of how to apply as soon as further details are available.

4. If you have run out of your benefits AND your benefit year has expired, you are encouraged to reapply for benefits through UI Online. Based on the information you provide, the EDD will determine if you qualify for a new regular UI claim based on wage data or a PUA claim.

5. If you are unable to collect regular UI benefits due to a disqualification (such as you voluntarily quit, were fired or discharged from your employer), or you are serving a false statement penalty from a past claim, you could be eligible for PUA benefits. As with group one above, you will receive a Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Award and a separate document you’ll need to complete to give the EDD additional details that we don’t already have from you to meet PUA requirements.

Can I still collect unemployment if my hours have been reduced?

Yes, you could receive partial unemployment benefits if you are only able to work part time because of the pandemic. When you certify, continue to report your income, even if it is part time.

The first $25 or 25 percent of your wages, whichever is more, will not be deducted from your benefit amount, but the rest will.

For example, if you earned $100 in a week, we would not count $25 as wages and would only deduct $75 from your weekly benefit amount. For someone who has a weekly benefit amount of $450, they would be paid a reduced amount of $375.

If your weekly benefit amount is $450 but you earned at least $600 in that week, the full $450 would be deducted leaving $0 left for any unemployment benefits that week.

You can start collecting benefits, stop when you return to work, then re-open your claim (within one year from your claim start date) if you become unemployed or your hours are reduced again.

Can I file an Unemployment Insurance claim if I am self-employed, an independent contractor, or gig worker?

If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or gig worker and are unable to work or have had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits under a few different scenarios:

  • You chose to contribute to UI Elective Coverage and paid the required contributions to be considered potentially eligible for benefits.
  • Your past employer made contributions on your behalf over the past 5 to 18 months.
  • You may have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

When filing for your UI claim, you will be asked for your last employer.

  • If you own your business or are self-employed, you should list yourself as your last employer.
  • If you are an independent contractor, you should list yourself as your last employer.
  • If you believe you are misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you should list the business you contract with as your last employer. Be sure to include:
    • The employer name, phone number, and address.
    • Type of work performed.
    • Dates worked.
    • Your gross wages and how you were paid (such as hourly or weekly).
  • If you are a gig worker, you should list your gig employer as your last employer.

For more detailed updates, visit Worker Resources or Employer Resources.

File a Claim

File a new claim if you have already applied for UI but are eligible for PUA because you are a business owner, independent contractor, self-employed worker, freelancer, or gig worker affected by COVID-19, and you have not already appealed a $0 award notice, been asked to verify your identity, or requested a wage investigation.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the following temporary exceptions are in place for all Unemployment Insurance claims until further notice:

  • Waiting Period – The 7-day waiting period is waived for claims beginning on or after January 19, 2020. After you submit your first two-week continued certification, you will be paid for the first week of your claim.
  • Work Search – You are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.

The individual files a claim for UI benefits using one of the following methods:

  • Access eApply4UI: (online is the recommended option)
    Answers to questions are entered online. After the application is completed the individual submits it online to the Department. Note: This is the fastest way to file your claim.
  • Contact EDD by phone:
    Individuals will speak to a Department representative who will ask a series of questions and record the responses.
  • Complete a paper UI Application, DE 1101I:
    The application can be completed online and printed, or it can be printed and completed by hand. The application can then be faxed or mailed to the EDD for processing using the fax number or mailing address on the application.

Mail – CA EDD Unemployment Insurance
Employment Development Department
P.O. Box 826880 – UIPCD, MIC 40
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

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21 thoughts on “California (CA) Employment Development Department (EDD) – Additional $600 FPUC Unemployment and PUA Benefits

  1. I lost my self employment from March 17 due to Covid 19, but I am still working a part time essential job (W2) taking care of my mom 16 hours earn $264 a week, EDD said I don’t qualify for PUA because I have UI. However I can’t get UI because my weekly benefit amount is $98, I’m have excessive earnings. What should I do? Essential job must work but 3 months of self employment no income and no help from EDD

  2. I lost my job at the start of March , I thought among many others it was bad to collect unemployment, until my father told me I needed to do it, it would help me get paid for the weeks I havnt worked and until I was able to find a job

    I’m receiving my $600/week + UI Benefits
    Starting from when I applied just last month
    But I was never able to certify for my previous weeks before I applied.

    How do I receive retroactive pay???

    Do I need to contact them?

    1. Did you ever find out that is what happened to me as well and I’m wondering do I need to call and tell the to backdate it!?

  3. Currently, I am in California collecting $406/week plus $600 which is about the same as my pre Covid 40 hours weekly pay.

    I was told as long as that is $1 or more on my Unemployment Benefit, the $600 will kick in.

    I came across this post:

    If the 25% of the “under-employed” weekly pay is lower than $450, then I qualify for weekly unemployment plus $600. Is this accurate?

    Anyone in the same boat? Thanks in advance!

    1. It is. See the example in the post. You can make up to $600 p/week in CA and still get at least $1 of state UI. This then makes you eligible for the $600 FPUC.

  4. Hello, I applied for unemployment late, like May 17th, but have been unemployed since mid-march. So far, I have only received payment from when I applied, May 17 on to May 31st. Will I get retroactive/back pay from the time I was laid off even though I applied late? (I though applying for unemployment was bad for some reason, but I realized I needed the money thus, I applied super late) Please help. Thank you.

  5. Hello! Like almost everyone else I reopened my UI claim due to the C-19 Virus in March. It was to be exhausted 10/03/2020. I’ve got one more claim I can make. I’ve tried calling. I’ve tried emailing. What other options due I have? Can I open a new claim on line? How soon can I open the claim (if needed)? I just got my bills all caught up in payment and really do not want to go back into “catch up mod again.” I understand that there are people who are still in the “I want to get my bills caught up mod.” Been there. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks

  6. I FINALLY got paid 9 weeks worth of back pay!!! Hope this helps someone out!

    So my claim was approved and started at the end of March. I filed my claims correctly, timely, and what have you, but wasn’t getting paid. All my claims just showed ‘pending’ and I even got the debit card as well.

    So I tried calling the 800 number for weeks on end with no luck, contacted my assembly member, wrote various emails/used the contact us option on UI Online, but still nothing.

    A few days ago I was getting very desperate since rent is due soon so I looked all over and stumbled upon a YouTube video that had a method of calling the 833 number and as soon as the automated voice starts, you hit 1 then 2 on the dial pad right away and most of the time you’ll get the “thank you for calling we are getting too many calls” yada yada yada and then it hangs up. You continue to do this (unfortunately in my case it took a couple hours) and then you’ll here “all of our representatives are with other clients” or something like that and that’s how you know you got through! I waited on hold for about an hour and a half, and explained to the EDD employee that all of my claims for the last 9 weeks are all ‘pending’ and she told me that I had a problem with ID verification, which made no sense because I sent in my ID, birth certificate, and 2019 W2 as verification as my ID is out of state. The employee said I was suppose to be sent an ID verification form in early April that I never received. She also said she would have a specialist call back sometime in the next week as she couldn’t do much for me on her end at that time.

    So I think I’m SOL seeing how long the ID verification process was taking for a lot of people on here and then all of the sudden, I get a No Called ID call today (05/29) and it was the specialist. She said she was able to push all of my ‘pending’ payments to ‘paid’ as there wasn’t an ID problem at all! On my UI Online it shows all of my payments for the last 9 weeks are all finally paid and should expect payment in the next day or so!!!!!!

    DONT GIVE UP!! There is a light at the end of this very dark tunnel!!!

    TLDR: All of my claims showed ‘pending’ for the last 9 weeks and then I called using the 833 method above I describe, talked to an EDD employee who set up a call back with a specialist that could better help me, got a call back the next day and the specialist told me she was able to push all of my ‘pending’ claims to ‘paid’.

    1. Does that include the $600 dollars. Or is that the UI only? I am in your situation. It is so very very long. I have 10 or so back weeks. Seems just today 3 weeks are approved. It is so low. And my rent is behind and it is not enough to get me current. So crazy.

    2. When you applied for unemployment, did it automatically allow you to certify your retroactive weeks prior to applying for unemployment?

  7. Okay so my final payment was March 4th of 2020. Does that mean my benefits will get an extension for 13 weeks?. I did receive one payment of 600 dollars and 275 of my regular payment for the week ending in March 4th 2020

  8. I started my unemployment weekof march 22 they withheld the one week because that was not implemented yet I received my edd card and one week payment on 4/6of April and have no t received anything else since then I have emailed the at least 7 times and did not get a response to any of my emails . they have not said anything is wrong. but the people who just applied are receiving there 600. why am I not receiving my reg unemployment.its almost 5 weeks.

    1. Are you signing on to the UI online and certifying every two weeks? Did you get your BofA debit card

  9. I am self employed and filed for unemployment on 3/21/2020. My first two weeks of certification said disqualified. Do i have to reapply since the self employed provision didn’t start until 4/28/2020?

    1. I made the same mistake and reapplyed a few days ago. It still says disqualified for weeks 4/1 & 4/11 or something to that effect. I created the company that I have done 1099 work for for the last year and a half under “company not listed” and then included that companies EIN in the space they provide ” 150 characters”. So far no appointmen and no response from EDD. I hope they fix this issue asap! I have lost my primary and only source of income due to the Coronavirus. I have a newborn baby and the bills continue to pile with no help in sight! Its frustrating watching people like my cousin who worked less than 3 months at a new job making min. wage prior to this pandemic get approved for benefits because of “reduced hours due to covid-19” without a second thought. So she now gets almost $800/wk in benefits plus she can continue to work part time and collect a paycheck. Funny she never made over $300 in a week working fulltime prior to this and now she is easily clearing over $1,000/ week because of it and I can’t work whatsoever “nonessential” due to it and I dont even have pocket lint in my pocket! #brokensystem

  10. During the corona virus i applied for my unemployment. EDD took my unemployment money and the care pay for overpayments from 2016
    This left me with 0 money
    Now i can understand if they took some but they took all of it. Its a killing virus out here and im a diabetic with a heart condition. So i have no food no
    money nothing

  11. I was let go in early feb. so I am already on unemployment and I got an offer from a job which then immediately furloughed their employees in march. My original claim does not include this info about the new job. Do I need to file a new claim or does the extra aid get added automatically? I have yet to see any extra aid.

  12. if i am receiving disability and will open my UIB after i finish my benefits is their an extension we can apply for due to the virus

    1. Yes, the PUA allows you to extend your current year UI benefits by an additional 13 weeks once you exhaust your standard 26 weeks.

  13. How long until I can open my unemployment claim again. I lost my previous job 9/2017, I received 3 weeks unemployment, took a job 10/2017 and am now out of work again. Can I still collect from the first claim?

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