Got EDD issues?
These are the most common questions we get about unemployment
The 7 On Your Side team receives lots of questions about unemployment and the California Employment Development Department, or EDD. Click through this gallery to see the most common questions – and how we answer them.
To create a new claim for unemployment benefits, visit this website.
EDD has a guide to filing a claim here.
How do I file a claim and where do I begin?
UI is for those who are W2 workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.
PUA is for freelancers, gig workers, and contractors who lost work due to the pandemic.
Click here for a guide to PUA benefits.
What's the difference between unemployment insurance (UI)
and pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA)?
•Social security number
•California driver's license or ID card
•Proof of U.S. citizenship, green card or a visa that allows you to work in the U.S., or an alien registration number
•Work history from the last 18 months, plus details about your most recent job
•Documents about your work as a federal employee or member of the military, if applicable.
Get a full guide from EDD by clicking here.
What do I need to file my claim?
EDD has said it is prioritizing older claims and typically the wait between filing and receiving benefits is three weeks. Gov. Gavin Newsom's new "strike force" has a goal of clearing the backlog by September 2020.
Some other possible reasons for not hearing (apart from EDD's own delays) are incorrect information on the claim, being flagged as possible fraud, and filing for regular unemployment insurance instead of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. (EDD didn't have a separate claim form for PUA until April 28, meaning gig workers and freelancers would need to re-apply using that form.)
Often, the only way to really solve this issue is to get in direct contact with the EDD, by clicking here.
Why haven't I heard back about an EDD claim I filed?
We’ve heard reports of long wait times, hang-ups or reaching employees who are unable to help.
EDD has said it’s hiring and training 5,000 more employees, although the full training process takes about four to six months. Gov. Newsom has also suggested an improved interactive voice response system that would route your call to a corresponding specialist.
For now, Californians with general questions and technical questions should call 1-833-978-2511, which is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
Those with specific questions about their claim should call 1-800-300-5616, which is open 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.
Although there are anecdotal tips and tricks to get through, the only one to be sure of is: keep calling.
Why can't I reach someone by phone?
EDD may require extra documentation of your identity. To do that, you will have to mail in copies of accepted documents (unexpired driver’s license, passport, military ID, pay stub, W2, utility bill, social security statement or birth certificate). The EDD says it’s upgrading the website to securely accept uploaded documents so they can be authenticated in real time. The upgrade is slated for some time in the next few months. For more information click here.
EDD says I have to verify my ID. Why and how do I do that?
There are different reasons this could be happening. One common reason seems to be "overpayment" on previous EDD claims. But the CARES Act is supposed to prevent you from getting cut off, so reach out to EDD if this has happened to you.
I got a couple weeks of benefits, but then my claim was closed. Why?
The EDD says it is working on website improvements, including the ability to transmit safe attachments for things like verifying your identity. Right now, those have to be mailed in.
Why is the website so difficult to navigate?
If you don't have a W2 or sufficient work history for a regular unemployment claim, you may qualify for PUA. You will still need to prove that you have lost work or income due to COVID-19. You cannot receive PUA if you qualify for regular UI.
With the passing of the CARES Act on March 25, gig workers immediately became eligible for assistance. Unfortunately, the EDD's website did not have a form for such workers until April 28. Those who filed claims before that date, using the regular UI form, were often rejected and had to refile once the PUA form was available. Even then, the EDD's backlog has delayed claims to those who used the PUA form to apply.
PUA benefits end December 31, 2020.
I'm a gig worker. Why was my claim rejected?
If you need help with your EDD/Bank of America debit card (activating cards, reporting lost or stolen cards, checking balances), please visit their website or call 1-866-692-9374 - or click here.
More information about EDD cards can be found here.
What should I do if I haven't received my EDD/B of A debit card?
Get the answers you need from Michael Finney and the 7 On Your Side team. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you're still having trouble, 7 On Your Side wants to help you.
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