The 21 day CA unemployment benefit -- am I screwed?
October 9, 2009 10:03 PM   Subscribe

CA Unemployment 21 Days Deadline: How to become eligible again?

Back in July, I filed with California to get unemployment benefits. Around the 20th, I got a reply from CA EDD, and I didn't open it for months. I figured that I didn't need the money right then, and the state of California was giving out warrants in lieu of checks (due to the state government's insolvency).

When I finally opened it (on October 9th), it said that I had to register within 21 days of the notice date (July 20th).

My question is: am I screwed? Will I be able to obtain unemployment benefits at all? Do I have to reapply? Should I go in person to the local office to clear things up, or is it better to call in (I haven't had much luck reaching a person when I've done this) or do this online? Any help or insight you can provide would be great. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't dealt with your specific issue, but I had an issue with CA unemployment months ago and tried calling in for a month, only to get into the system to their menu tree once, and then get told that there was no one available to take my call because they were so busy. You can try calling in, but I think it's probably best if you do something else. I posted a question here about it back then, and eventually solved my own problem by finding the email form in the EDD website. The following is excerpted from a memail I sent to someone else here who was looking for the contact information on the EDD website and asked me how to find it:

I can't give you an actual link in MeMail, but basically, you go to the main EDD site ( and look in the gold bar at the bottom of the page. There should be a link for "Contact EDD" down there - click on it. That'll take you to another page ( that has a number of options on it. You're interested in the first category, "Online", where there's a link for "Ask EDD" in the text. That'll take you to page with a drop-down menu for what category your question falls into, which will then open another drop-down about what your question is regarding. Hopefully, your problem falls into one of those categories, as mine sort of did. There's a "Need a new claim form" option in there that I selected, which then allowed me to move on to the email form, which isn't really an email, but a form that you fill out and provide a bunch of information for (at least SSN and email/phone #, possibly your benefit amount). Then you submit it. It's entirely possible that a different issue from mine would bring up something different from the site.

Once you do that, it'll take however long to process. Mine was apparently processed the next afternoon, when I got the call from EDD that I was unable to answer. About a half hour later, I got an email saying that I was being mailed (via US post) a time for a phone interview. My interview was scheduled for about two and a half weeks after when I submitted the email in the first place, but I got to talk to an actual person about my problem.

If all that fails, I guess the next best option would be to actually go down to the closest EDD center and just wait to see somebody. I haven't tried doing that, so I don't know how successful it would be, but as I stated in my original question and you've doubtlessly already found out, trying to call the 800 number is a pretty much worthless endeavor.

If the reply you got from EDD included a continued claim form, you're actually in the same boat I was in. What they told me in my phone interview was that I just should have sent in the continued claim form no matter how long it had been since I got it. You probably won't receive benefits for the lapsed time between when you got the form and now, but it'll get you back on track to receive them. So, I'd say to at least do that, and then try to actually get in touch with EDD, either by phone, the email contact form, or by dropping by one of their offices.
posted by LionIndex at 10:15 PM on October 9, 2009

Mail it ASAP. That'll confirm that your claim is ongoing.

My husband had a similar problem recently, when he forgot to send in a continued claim form for a couple of weeks. It held up the unemployment checks. He then got a letter a couple of days later acknowledging the receipt of the late form.

As for backdating your claim to July, check with EDD. It's near-impossible to get through on the phone from home, but if you go to one of their offices, you can use the phone there to call the information line. It's like jumping the queue -- somehow you get connected!
posted by vickyverky at 1:47 PM on October 10, 2009

in case you haven't resolved this, you can also call the worker's rights clinic at the legal aid society - employment law center for free information/advice.
posted by anya32 at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2009

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