Governor Newsom Announces Additional Unemployment Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19, as Unemployment Claims Reach Record Levels

The state will begin implementing new federal benefit payments of $600 on top of the weekly benefit received by California workers starting this Sunday 

Californians have filed more claims in the last four weeks than in all of 2019

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that starting this Sunday, California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) initiated by the CARES Act. This comes as record numbers of unemployment claims are being filed on a weekly basis in the state.

This is an important benefit that will help individual Californians and our small businesses, especially those that are struggling economically as a result of COVID-19.

“Many Californians are feeling the effects of this pandemic, and this added benefit is very important to our workers so they have needed resources during this difficult time,” said Governor Newsom.

In the last four weeks, California has processed about 2.3 million unemployment insurance claims, which is more than the total number of claims filed in 2019. Just for the week ending on Saturday, April 4, 2020, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) processed 925,450 claims, which is a 2,418% increase over the same week last year.

Additionally, the EDD paid a total of nearly $684.3 million in unemployment benefits to Californians in need in the last four weeks, supporting families and their local economies.

For more information on how to apply for unemployment insurance benefits and what claimants need to know about these new $600 additional payments, visit the EDD website.

“I want to thank both our federal partners, as well as everyone in our Labor Agency and the staff in the Employment Development Department, who are working around the clock to ensure California workers have the resources they need to get through this difficult time,” added Governor Newsom. 

Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.

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Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

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