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You must be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own, and you must have earned sufficient wages in your base period (the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim, or alternatively the last 4 quarters). Also, you must be able and available for full-time work.
You can apply online, by mail or by fax using the Unemployment Insurance Application, or over the phone at 1-800-300-5616.
Your weekly benefit amount is determined by the amount of wages in the quarter of the base period in which your earnings were the highest. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $40, and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $450.
The length of time that you will receive benefits is also based on how much you made during the base period, but benefits are not available for more than 26 weeks.
You must continue to file bi-weekly (every 2 weeks) by completing a claim form, signing, dating it, and returning it to the Employment Development Department for payment. Also, you must continue to be able and available for full-time work. You must actively seek employment, while keeping a record of your work search activities (a form to help you do so can be found in the Claimant Handbook). You must also register with EDD Workforce Services, which can be done so here. Finally, you must accept suitable work.
You must appeal within 20 calendar days from the date of the decision. Your appeal must be in writing, and it must state the reasons you disagree with the decision. Your appeal must be submitted by mail. Also, you must keep filing your weekly claims regularly because you will only be paid for weeks you filed if you win your appeal.