January 31, 2023
Unemployment benefits are part of a combined federal and state program that provides compensation to eligible workers who have been laid off. Each state has a different unemployment insurance program, but they all follow the same guidelines established by federal law. If you are fired from a job in California, you should immediately file your claim with the Employment Development Department (EDD). About two weeks later, they will conduct a telephone interview with you and your employer to determine if you are eligible for unemployment benefits.
What do I need to file a claim?
You must have earned enough wages during the base period to establish a claim. The “base period” is a specific 12-month term that the EDD uses. Once the EDD has determined that you qualify, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are totally or partially unemployed
- You are unemployed through no fault of your own
- You are physically fit to work
- You are ready and willing to accept work immediately
Am I eligible if I quit?
If you quit your job, it is very likely that you will not qualify for benefits unless you had very good cause to quit, and you have made all reasonable attempts to keep your job. Some of the valid causes for resigning are discrimination or unsafe working conditions. Other reasonable causes include resignation for health reasons (on the advice of a doctor) or the continuing threat of domestic violence to you and/or your children.
What if I was fired for misconduct?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive unemployment benefits in that case. The EDD considers misconduct:
- Substantial breach of duty
- The breach of duty was a malicious act, with the intention of violating it
- The breach of duty harmed the employer’s business interests
What happens if my claim is denied?
If your claim is denied, you will receive a notice from the EDD. This decision can be appealed within twenty days. After requesting the appeal, the EDD will schedule a hearing. If you are not satisfied with their decision, you can appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. After that, your case could go to court.