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Unemployment Insurance

Wage and Hour
Family & Medical Leave
Unemployment Insurance
State Disability Insurance
Workplace Health & Safety
Workers Compensation
Employment Discrimination
Wrongful Termination
Links to all state agencies and unemployment laws can be found at:

Individuals who are able to and available to work and who have been laid off or who have quit their last job for a good reason are eligible for Unemployment Benefits (UIB). This is a fund paid by the state and employers; employees do not contribute. Deductions from an employee's pay for unemployment insurance are unlawful.

Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents must have employment authorization from the immigration and Naturalization Service in order to be eligible for benefits.

Part of the Social Security Act of 1935, federal legislation enacted a system with incentives for states to adopt UI programs. Consequently, all fifty states have UIB programs that are substantially similar. In California, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is the state administrative agency that administers these benefits.

All state programs are subject to federal statutory requirements found in 42 USC §503(a) et seq. and 26 USC §3304 et seq. and federal regulations found in 20 CFR §§640 et seq.

California laws pertaining to UIB are found in:
• Unemployment Insurance Code
• 22 California Code of Regulations
• EDD Benefit Determination Guide
• Court Decisions
• Precedent Benefit Decisions (EDD decisions that EDD has determined are precedent)

UIB fundamentals are described in EDD’s Benefit Determination Guide.

Generally, to qualify for UIB, a worker must be: (All references to California UI Code)

• Unemployed, legal resident §1264
• Have been an employee §§601 et seq.
• Worked in covered employment (almost everyone)
• Worked or Earned Enough §§1280 et seq.
• Involuntary Termination, not misconduct §1256
• Voluntary Quit for good cause §1256

Generally, benefits will be denied when a worker:
• Voluntarily quits without good cause
• Is discharged for misconduct
• Makes false statements resulting
in disqualification for benefits
• Not able and available for work
• Refuses suitable work
• On strike

When claimants receive benefits to which they are not entitled, EDD will seek recovery of the overpayment unless the overpayment was received without fault and recovery would be against equity and good conscience. §1375
All claimants must complete an application for benefits and have a claims status interview with EDD.

Claimants receive a Notice of Determination granting or denying benefits which is mailed to claimants and their employers. Either party must appeal within 20 days of the Notice's mailing. An administrative law judge (ALJ) hears the claim and issues a written decision. Parties may appeal the ALJ's decision to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) within 20 days of the decision's mailing. A party may appeal to Superior court within six months of the CUIAB decision.