California Unemployment

Posted by supervisor

Apply for Unemployment benefits:

Always apply for California unemployment right away when your hours have been reduced or you are no longer working and have lost your job.  Benefit claims are never retroactive so they will not be back dated your last day of work or when your hours were reduced.  Your claim is effective the Sunday prior to your file date, but the benefits will not begin until after the one-week unpaid waiting period.  So the sooner you apply for benefits the better.

How to file a claim in California:

In California you can file for unemployment in three different ways:

  • The most preferred and fastest way to file your claim for unemployment is online at eApply4UI.  Please make sure to review all the information and directions provided so you have the information you need to proceed faster through the online process.
  • If you don’t have a computer or prefer to talk with a live person, you may apply by telephone.  Here is a link to the phone list so you can find the best number based on your location: California unemployment phone numbers
  • The third way to apply is by mail/fax.  To do this you will first need to print a copy of the paper application or print the application you filled out online.  Directions on how to apply by mail are located here:  California unemployment.

Information needed to apply for unemployment benefits:

The following information is needed in order to apply for California State unemployment benefits. You will want to have this information easily available when you begin the application process. If you do not have all the necessary information you may not be able to complete your initial claim.

  • Your name and all past names you have used while working
  • Your home address and mailing address if different
  • Your state issued driver’s license or ID card number, if you have either
  • The last date you worked for your most recent employer
  • The reason you are no longer working for your last employer
  • Last employer information, including: name, address (mailing and physical location) and telephone number
  • Information on all employers you worked for during the 18 months prior to filing your claim, including: name, period of employment, wages earned and how you were paid
  • Information on whether you are receiving, or expect to receive any payments from a former employer.
  • Your availability to accept work
  • Your legal right to work in the United States

For additional information on filing a claim for unemployment insurance in California, please see the Contacts section below.


California Unemployment Insurance Homepage 


California Unemployment Telephone Numbers
Unemployment Insurance Forms & Publications 


Frequently Asked Questions 


Job/Career Search Sites
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