California Unemployment Benefits

Orange County Business Consulting Attorneys Look At Unemployment Compensation

In this article, Orange County business consulting attorneys explain how to qualify for unemployment compensation in California.


In order to qualify for unemployment compensation under California law, you must:

  • Have met the minimum earnings baseline amount.
  • Have lost your job for reasons other than misconduct of yours.
  • Conduct an active job search, and be willing and able to accept a suitable position.

The Base Period

Each calendar year is divided into four quarters. Your base period for the earnings requirement is equal to twelve months, plus one full quarter prior to your filing date. In other words, assuming you place your claim in June 2014, your base period is determined by counting three months and then one year back. So, your base period would begin on March 1, 2013 and would end on February 28, 2014. Your earnings during those quarters must meet the minimum earnings threshold for the base period in order for you to be eligible for benefits.

Why You Are Out Of Work

There are any number of perfectly legitimate reasons for why you might be unemployed. Perhaps you were caught in a downsize, your position was temporary or seasonal, or you were laid off for lack of enough work to keep you busy. Perhaps the position was not right for you from the beginning, and you were unable to develop the skills needed to succeed at it. Perhaps you or a family member were taken ill. You may have been terminated from your position or left it voluntarily, but no misconduct on your part was involved. As long as the reason you are out of work was not your fault, you should be eligible for benefits. If you did lose your job through illegal, improper or unethical behavior on your part, you will not be eligible.

The Job Search

You are expected to demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in finding a job, which means you must actively look for one. This includes sending out resumes, making telephone calls, answering online or newspaper ads, attending interviews and so on. You will need to document your job search on your claim on an ongoing basis for your benefits to continue. If you receive a reasonable job offer, you are not expected to turn it down. If after 26 weeks you have not yet found work, you may apply for an extension through Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

Filing Your Claim

This can be done online at, by telephone or fax, or through the mail by contacting the California Employment Development Department. If your claim is not approved, you may file an appeal with the EDD for a hearing.

For Help Or More Information

If you feel that your claim has been unfairly denied, seek help now. Contact the Orange County business lawyers at Daily Aljian LLP today.

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