California Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility

To be eligible for California Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

Basic requirements:

  • Unemployed: You must be completely or partially unemployed through no fault of your own. This includes situations like being laid off, furloughed, having your hours reduced, or quitting for good cause (e.g., workplace harassment).
  • Worked in California: You must have earned wages in California during the past 12 months (base period). The specific amount of wages required varies depending on your total earnings during the base period. You can use the EDD’s earnings calculator to estimate your eligibility:
  • Actively seeking work: You must be actively looking for work each week you claim benefits. This means attending job fairs, networking with contacts, and applying for suitable jobs.

Additional requirements:

  • Resident of California: You must be a resident of California at the time you file your claim.
  • Able and available to work: You must be physically and mentally able to work and available for suitable work during your regular work hours.
  • Authorized to work in the US: If you are not a US citizen, you must show that you were in satisfactory immigration status and authorized to work in the US when earning the wages used to establish your claim.


  • EDD website: The California Employment Development Department (EDD) website is the best resource for information about UI benefits in California. You can find information on eligibility requirements, how to file a claim, and how to certify for benefits:
  • EDD FAQs: The EDD website also has a helpful FAQ section on unemployment benefits eligibility:
  • You can also find information about UI benefits on the website:

Additional notes:

  • The specific eligibility requirements for UI benefits can be complex, and it is always best to consult with the EDD if you have any questions.
  • You can file your claim for UI benefits online, by phone, or in person.
  • Once you have filed your claim, you will need to certify for benefits each week. This means you will need to answer questions about your job search and any income you earned during the week.

California Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility

Frequently asked California Unemployment Benefit Questions

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