EDD Unemployment

The California Employment Development Department office (“EDD Office”) manages all aspects of California unemployment benefits. The EDD Office offers compensation for unemployed or underemployed individuals who meet various requirements set forth by both the United States federal government and the California state legislature. Even California legislatures themselves can find difficulty in understanding the various statutes and regulations regarding California unemployment benefits. The rules are simply inherently ambiguous and vague in many instances, with many different defined terms and phrases that the average person has probably never heard of. We will show you the key terms and requirements you need to be aware of when you are applying for unemployment insurance.


To qualify for EDD unemployment in the state of California you need to demonstrate that you meet several different requirements. First, the fact that you are out of work or feeling the economic effects of underemployment cannot be due to any actions of your own or due to your own fault. Second, you need to look for a new job or for increased work hours as soon as you have submitted an unemployment insurance application. This means that you are both willing and able to find a new job. Anyone who is unable because of disability or unwilling due to retirement or the fact that the individual does not believe he or she can find a new job at the moment will not have their UI claims for EDD unemployment approved.

A Key Definition: Your Base Period

If you meet each of the requirements above you need to show the EDD Office that you have earned a specific amount of income during your “Base Period.” The Base Period is four continuous calendar quarters beginning after the current and former completed quarter are skipped. For example, if you file for EDD unemployment on June 15, 2011, which is in the second quarter of that year, you skip not only that quarter but the quarter just before it (the first quarter of 2011) and then use the next continuous four calendar quarters as your Base Period. In this example, it would be all four quarters of 2010.

During your Base Period you must have earned $1,300 in at least one quarter or earned a minimum of $900 in one Base Period quarter and have the grand total of all wages earned during the Period to be 1.25 times the earnings you brought in during the single highest earning wages.

After Your Approval

If your EDD unemployment application is approved you can receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment compensation. The amount of the weekly payment (called the “weekly benefit amount”) will vary between a minimum of $40 and a maximum of $450 and is based upon the highest wages earned during your Base Period and a multiplier that is predetermined by the California EDD Office.

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