How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits with the California Employment Development Department (Edd)?

Learn how to apply for unemployment benefits with the California Employment Development Department.

Christian Allen is the editor / author responsible for this content.
Apr 28, 2020

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is a state agency that helps to provide financial support for residents in need. Originally established in 1935, the program spends billions of dollars offering unemployment insurance (UI), disability insurance (DI), paid family leave(PFL), and more. The parent agency of California's EDD is the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Unemployment insurance is an employer-paid program that gives employees a partial income when they've been unemployed or have had their hours reduced. There are certain eligibility requirements to qualify for unemployment insurance.

If you need to apply for unemployment benefits with the California EDD, keep reading for detailed instructions on how to do so.


Apply for UI Online

  1. You should file your claim the first week you lose your job.
  2. Go to the State of California Employment Development Department website.
  3. Under ‘New Registration,' select ‘Register.'
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the ‘Terms & Conditions' and select ‘I Agree.'
  5. Create a profile by filling out all the requested information.
  6. You will then receive an email from the EDD to confirm your registration. Click on the unique link provided in the email to complete your registration.
  7. Now that your profile is complete, you will be redirected to the login page. Use your new credentials to sign in.
  8. On the next screen, select ‘UI Online.'
  9. Select ‘File a New Claim.'
  10. Agree to all the terms and conditions and select ‘Next.'
  11. Follow the application process by answering the prompted questions. When you're finished, you will receive an email confirming you have completed your online application.


Apply for UI By Phone

If you're having trouble with the online process, you can apply for UI by phoning into the California EDD customer service team. They will collect information for you and apply on your behalf. Ask the customer service agent to send you an email confirmation that the application has been submitted. Keep the agent on the line until you have received the email and can confirm the details.


Apply for UI By Mail

You can apply for UI by mail by first accessing the application form.

  1. Go to https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm#collapseThree
  2. Select ‘By Fax or Mail.'
  3. Select which form options works for you based on your language preference and where you work. For example, "Worked in California - English form."
  4. Print and fill out the form.
  5. Mail in your application to EDD P.O. Box 12906 Oakland, CA 94604-2909.
  6. EDD can take up to 10 business days to process your application after they have received it. Note that this option takes the longest amount of time.


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Christian has been writing about long hold times and customer service call center experiences since 2010. He's been featured in Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.
How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits with the California Employment Development Department (Edd)?

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