Coronavirus Crisis: Extended Unemployment Benefits



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Expanded Unemployment Benefits During The Crisis

The CARES Act includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four weeks, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.

The first resource for unemployment benefits in California is the California Employment Development Department (EDD). They maintain a coronavirus web page outlining the potential benefits available to California workers impacted by the current crisis. The EDD is experiencing an unprecedented volume of applicants, so please be patient in applying for benefits.  The EDD is not currently taking phone calls, but you can file a claim or manage an existing claim online.

The EDD has also compiled an extensive list of questions and answers to help get you the best information regarding unemployment benefits, such as under what situations and criteria you can obtain benefits, how much you could receive, and how the process of obtaining benefits works. This web page also includes information regarding eligibility requirements and instructions on how to file a claim for those who are self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers.

Because unemployment is overseen by the California State Legislature, please contact your State Senator or State Assembly member with further questions or concerns regarding unemployment benefits. Contact information for your state representatives can be found here.