Benefit programs available to help California workers who are losing wages due to the impacts of the Coronavirus

Sacramento – Workers who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19 may be eligible for the financial support provided by the benefit programs of the California Employment Development Department (EDD).  These programs are designed to replace a portion of the wages workers are losing through no fault of their own, and are available to those affected for medical reasons or for economic impact reasons.

“The sudden and immense impact on jobs and Californians’ earnings due to the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented,” said EDD Director Sharon Hilliard. “At the EDD, we know that our employment benefit programs are a critical lifeline for Californians and we are applying any and all means to ensure we process claims and issue payments as quickly as possible.”

Medical Impact on Jobs

  • If an individual is unable to work due to being ill or due to a medical quarantine related to COVID-19, the worker is encouraged to file a claim for Disability Insurance (DI).  
  • If an individual is unable to work because he or she has to care for an ill or medically quarantined family member related to COVID-19, the worker is encouraged to file a claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL). 
  • Both of these types of claims require a medical certification from a treating physician or a written order from a state or local health officer.
  • Both programs are part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. Most Californians contribute to these insurance programs with a payroll deduction noted as “CASDI” on their paycheck stubs.
  • Benefit amounts are based on wages earned over the past 12-18 months and range from $50 – $1,300 a week.
  • If an individual is not covered by the SDI program, or if there is no medical certification or written order available, an individual forced out-of-work or working reduced hours can file for unemployment benefits.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so individuals can collect UI benefits for the first week they are out of work. It will still take a few weeks to process a claim before the first payment can be issued to an eligible worker.

 

Economic Impact on Jobs

  • If an individual is not ill or caring for an ill or medically quarantined family member and has lost a job or has had hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19, the worker is encouraged to file a claim forUnemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. That could include a parent who needs to stay home to care for dependent children due to a school closure.
  • Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Benefit amounts are based on wages earned over the past 12-18 months and range from $40 – $450 a week. 
  • The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so workers can collect UI benefits for the first week they are out of work. It will still take a few weeks to process a claim before the first payment can be issued to an eligible worker.
  • Self-employed individuals may not be eligible for benefits since the UI and SDI programs are insurance programs and either a worker or their employer has to have contributed to them in order for a worker to be covered for potential benefits. It’s possible such a worker may have past wages earned or has been misclassified. More information is available on the EDD COVID-19 Resources webpage.

 

Things to Remember to Help EDD Process a Worker’s Claim

  • Filing a claim for each of these benefit programs can and should be done online whenever possible. The EDD’s COVID-19 Resources webpage provides all of the links needed to help workers identify their particular situation and how to apply for benefits.
  • Online services are available through a mobile phone to help workers who may not have access to a computer at home.
  • Workers found eligible for benefits are encouraged to select an EDD Debit Card as the method for receiving benefit payments instead of checks in order to receive those benefits as fast as possible.
  • Workers should be aware that it always takes at least a few weeks to process claims and issue benefit payments to those found eligible due to requirements such as checking wage records.

 

EDD’s Efforts to Meet Unprecedented Demands

  • While these programs are designed to assist workers during any economic downturn, the immense widespread impact created by COVID-19 is creating a sudden and unprecedented demand for benefits.
  • The EDD is working to respond to the needs of the California workforce with several strategies including staff working overtime 7 days a week, redirecting staff whenever possible, encouraging staff to return from recent retirements, and hiring additional staff.
  • With the heavy load on our online systems, the EDD encourages workers who may encounter any issue with getting into the systems to try again a little later.  Our systems are available around the clock (with some limitations in the late evenings as claims processed are forwarded for payment).

For more information visit the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s

Coronavirus 2019 webpage.

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Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, the Winter Storms of 2017, the Tubbs Fire, the Thomas Fire, the Carr Fire, the Camp Fire, and the Ridgecrest Earthquake. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

11 thoughts on “Benefit programs available to help California workers who are losing wages due to the impacts of the Coronavirus

  • March 20, 2020 at 7:22 pm
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    Only told me to park the truck and I have been working since the virus hit in California

    Reply
  • March 20, 2020 at 10:29 pm
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    I cant certify for benifits till april 28th. Cause ive exhausted my benifits from prior year. Now that im not working due to covid 19. Will edd eaive the having to wait to recertify???

    Reply
    • March 22, 2020 at 3:24 pm
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      I’m in the same situation as you. Did you get a reply to your question? Because I have the same question as you.

      Reply
  • March 21, 2020 at 9:52 am
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    How about substitute teachers?

    Reply
  • March 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm
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    I’m 73 years old and work at Walmart part to supplement my income ,I’m get ss but it’s only 863 a month,do to coronavirus my doctor recommends I self quarantine do to my age and immune system disorder.
    Do I qualify for DI ?

    Reply
  • March 22, 2020 at 1:17 pm
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    I’m 73 years old and work at Walmart part time to supplement my income ,I get ss but it’s only $ 863 a month,do to coronavirus my doctor recommends I self quarantine do to my age and immune system disorder.
    Do I qualify for DI ?

    Reply
  • March 22, 2020 at 4:11 pm
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    So my question do to the Corona 19 self employed do not get anything. Wow were just left to starve and become homeless. I pay taxes and there is no relief for us what so ever. If so please share. Due to this all our arbnb were canceled and that is my source of income. Please help me to know where to go for assistance. I to am hungry and have Bill’s as well as pay my taxes. There should be relief for all in this situation.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2020 at 7:12 pm
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    Im trying to register and dont let me cause I can remember my password,

    Reply
  • March 22, 2020 at 10:47 pm
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    I cant remeber my 4digit code to get ini cant get into help desk and i forgot how much my benifits are

    Reply
  • April 2, 2020 at 12:37 pm
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    when are we gonna start getting the additional$600. from edd I got $450.only

    Reply
  • April 23, 2020 at 9:36 am
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    I am a Independent Contractor full time and a caregiver part-time I still work as a caregiver but my collector job has been closed since march 18th and my doctor took me off work as of March 13th 2020 for 3rd stage kidney disease and my full time job closed before I could go back which I wasn’t released to go back yet do I qualify for unemployment benefits ??

    Reply

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