Temp work and CA UI benefits: Why so tricky?

Well, here’s why.

You can read it in the second-last paragraph on page three:

” … If you accept full-time work for two weeks or longer, your claim will become inactive and no additional claim forms will be mailed. If you become unemployed again, you must submit a new application for benefits. The easiest way to do so is to submit your application online through EDD’s Website at http://www.edd.ca.gov.”

Many people have had great success with temp-to-hire work, and in fact the general consensus seems to be that it is a good career move if you can do it. But we don’t need to blog about the successes. Nor is this meant as a rant against the California Employment Development Department (EDD). This post may, however, spare someone the nasty shock of accepting full-time work for two weeks and then finding their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits slashed to nearly nothing. Then where do you go? Welfare?

This entry was spurred by a recent conversation I had with a rather cagey temp recruiter, who told me that all I had to do was reapply for UI when the as-yet-to-materialize assignment was over. Technically, that is true, but the way it was presented to me glossed over the fact that my current claim, the one that is based on the highest-quarter earnings at my last job, would be nullified. In my case, the new claim would be based on my earnings while unemployed – resulting in a terrifying reduction in weekly benefits.

I did some online hunting and found some real horror stories blogged by people who went into temp work in the best of faith, many hoping for temp-to-hire positions. Some temps found the promised “long-term” contract cancelled abruptly or did not realize that that they had fallen under the two-week nullification clause, resulting in the need to open a completely new claim. One woman posted that her weekly award dropped to $40. Shocked, I scoured the EDD site until I found the paragraph above.

There are situations in which the EDD expects a laid-off worker to accept temp offers. Below, you will find EDD site links that delineate when you must accept work and when you may be excused according to California law. You must check your individual state’s laws regarding temp work. Take a look at these links on the CA EDD Web site regarding what they consider “suitable work”:

On a personal note, I find that the EDD really is committed to helping people find suitable work. They also seem to be particularly helpful and touchingly grateful to job-seekers who are simply nice to them. After all, most laid-off workers are both frightened and furious, and it’s easy to take it out on the counselors. Here is a job tip, if you think you are up for it, about a place that actually is hiring: the California Employment Development Department.

“Here’s Why” would like to hear stories from temps and job-hunters, and we would very much like to hear the word from authoritative legal sources. Please post your comments below, and stay tuned for an upcoming live chat during which we will share job-hunt tips, advice on how to keep up your spirits, and how temping has worked for you. No whining, though. We mean it.


Related: Senators Kerry, Reed move to stop benefits penalties for temp work


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37 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m curious as to where your evidence to support your statement that “EDD is really committed to helping people find suitable work.” What would compel you to arrive at that conclusion? Has the EDD found a permanent full-time position for you?

    I’ve had a claim open for over a year and have been temping the whole time because that’s how shitty the economy is in California, however, the EDD has never once helped me to find work simply because that’s not what they do. In fact, if you review your DE1275A guide, job and reemployment services, referred to as CalJobs, are mentioned on page 28, but using either of these services assumes that you, the claimant have registered and have been checking the site for employment.

    Further, claimants must register with the CalJobs site as a requirement of having filed a claim, however, I’ve found CalJobs to be as useless as the bank bailouts are to me.

    The 800-300-5616 line is completely overwhelmed; There is no good time to call back when lines aren’t jammed. In fact, when dialing the number, you don’t just punch in the numbers and wait for it to ring because 99.9% of the time, the caller receives an “all circuits are busy now” message or the line simply disconnects because that is how bogged down it is.

    All that being said, having dealt with the EDD extensively over the past year, the reps are actually quasi-competent, but that assumes the claimant was able to speak to a live rep.

    • Hi Peyton,

      I can’t argue with the bureaucratic quagmire that we in CA find ourselves in, nor can I dispute the frustration of the job hunt. I’m starting Month Seven myself.

      I don’t expect the EDD to *find* me a job, because that, as you correctly state, is not what they do.

      My point is that they have *helped* me. They have assisted by pointing me to some good skills training programs related to my objectives. The EDD Web site is full of solid information, even if you have to dig for it, about job trends, employment law and about state and federal decisions on related topics. And, in reference to the point in my blog above, they don’t cut you off if you are a journalist who declines a front-desk filing job, as long as they know you are making a reasonable effort to find “suitable work.”

      Yes, EDD needs to fix the phone availability and certainly has to bring CalJobs site into the modern age. But the responsibility of finding work remains mine, after all.

      We are fighting a 12.4% unemployment rate in our area, and that is not the EDD’s fault.

      To the main point, though: How have you managed with temping this whole time? What’s it doing to your UI status – are you retaining your original award level, may I ask, and have you had to file a new claim each time your contract ends?

      Good luck to you, Peyton! I feel much more sympathetic than I probably sound here. You should see my Facebook rants.

  2. How have I managed with temping? Every single time I have an assignment that lasts in excess of 40 hours, it necessitates a telephonic from the EDD. This, of course, stops all UI until the EDD gets around to calling and hearing what the story is. Evidently, a “temp job” is not sufficiently self-explanatory, they want to know why I’m not still working.

    The delay is usually somewhere around 3-4 weeks until they can call, and, that’s only IF a supervisor in the meantime has not deleted the appointment in the system and is unable to reschedule. (this has already happened to me and I’ve already ranted it about on my blog).

    I’m not a fan of the EDD at all. I think the system could be run a hell of a lot better if the bureaucracy was not staffed with unaccountable, lifetime civil servants who will never be terminated unless they bring a semi-automatic weapon to work and blow away everyone in the office, and even then, they’ll only receive administrative leave.

  3. […] note that the FED-ED game rules are much stricter than those under California requirements. In the Here’s Why post from Feb. 13, 2010, we discuss what California considers “suitable work,” and noted that the state […]

  4. […] the FED-ED job-seeking rules are much stricter than those under California requirements. In the Here’s Why post from Feb. 13, 2010, we discuss what California considers “suitable work,” and noted that the state […]

  5. […] Related: Temp work and CA UI benefits: Why so tricky?” Published […]

  6. I’m about to start a temp job today and I’m not sure how it’s going to work out – there is a “possibility” of going permanent with the company, but no guarantee. I called EDD just now and asked specifically what would happen if this position went full-time, but the job ends and I go back to earning nothing. The man told me that as long as the job ends before my current claim expires (next year), I’m entitled to the same benefit amount that I’m getting now, and the claim will just be reopened. To clarify, I’m still on my CA UI, not a federal extension or anything. Peyton’s comment scares me a bit because 3-4 weeks is a long delay just to tell the office something that would be plainly obvious to any reasonable person.

  7. horror story. i was collecting 450 a week from unemployment since being laid off from my job. i recently exhausted all of my state benefits, and went on fed ed, which was still at the 450 a week amount. each week, i deducted my hours from my part time job, and received the difference, deducted from my 450. i have roughly 3,800 left in fed ed benefits. today, i got my unemployment check, as usual, and it was half the amount i expected. i called (with a new super complicated and unfriendly menu), and the woman told me, that because i was now working part time, my state benefits kicked back in, on the new earned amount, which is basically almost nothing. my new weekly benefit amount is now, $78 a week! i must exhaust my 12 weeks at this rate, before i can go back to collecting my fed ed. if i continue my part time job, my weekly earnings easily exceed my new $78. per week, so basically, i can’t collect the state aid, so basically can never resume my fed ed. another shock from our lovely state, after the last nice surprise in july, when congress didn’t extend the benefits. i think it is criminal to be punished for getting a part time job, and not being able to at least collect the remaining amount i was awarded thru fed ed.

    • I just filled in my first form for my Fed-Ed extension. The spaced in the back are so small that writing in email addresses I sent resumes to are almost impossible to read.

      I was wondering what would happen if I were to find a temporary job and how it would affect my Fed-Ed. What you said happened to you is unbelievable. It’s as if they went out of their way to screw people who are finding some form of work – like temp work. Now I’m scared that if I am offered a temporary job for a week or two, I have to take it only to end up on the street in a month because I benefits (currently at $450) will dwindle to nothing. I have almost nothing in savings anymore – all spent on necessities and bills. This is really scary to know that they force you to accept a job, even though they know it’s temporary and you will be destitute if you do.

      What the hell is going on?

  8. Basically, my UI benefits run out in early June at which time the federal extension kicks in for another year. I’ve been receiving UI checks on a bi monthly basis but suddenly received payment for only one of the prior 2 week period I applied for. Since I’ve been required to pay back prior substantial money I was paid by the EDD, I have been reluctant to cash in any of my unemployment checks because I am now educated. I now realize fully that EDD can order anyone to pay them back anytime for any amount, therefore my advice to everyone getting unemployment is to tread lightly, don’t cash your checks for several months because in my opinion there is a good likelihood you will be instructed to pay it back or else. As far as the federal extension kicking in for me in June is concerned, all I can say is I’ll believe when I see it and even then I won’t.

  9. I was recently kicked out of the Federal Unemployment Extension because I accepted a temp job. The reason I was kicked out was because this temp job was a W2 job and I worked long enough that it qualified me for a new State claim. When this happens, the Federal Government passes your claim (so to speak) back to the State. The implication for me is that the temp job amounted to much less money than the last quarter earnings of my previous job. So, the new payment on the new State claim is 87.00 per week as opposed to 450.00 per week on the previous Fed Ed claim. I have written both State Congresswomen and my district representative to complain about this policy. The dilemma is obvious – you are required to accept work as part of your ability to receive Unemployment Insurance. Apparently, you can get disqualified if you refuse work. However, when you do accept temporary work that amounts to less money, you will end up with less money. It’s a dichotomy of values going on here, so I don’t know what to say. It just is what it is. The conversation for the unemployed person needs to become what can you do to avoid this from happening to you without violated your responsibility to accept work. Things to research and/or consider might be accepting a temp job while being certain to find out how much you need to earn to qualify for a new State claim and then somehow responsibly getting out of that temp job before you reach that amount (responsibly, as in so you don’t get disqualified).

  10. The EDD office told me when I accept temp work that I indicate my wages and check the box “still working”. This puts my claim on “hold”. When the temp work is finished I call the EDD to “reactivate” my claim. Is that an over simplification? I am just starting my first extension and receiving $450/wk UI. At what point is my weekly benefit recalculated due to temp work?

    • I have seen information similar to what David LeVack posted (see his comment below) about rule changes.

      When you earn (from temping) more than a certain amount in any given quarter in the State of California, you qualify for a new state claim. I forget the exact dollar amount, but the last time I checked it was in the $900 range. If you do temp work, once your cumulative earnings in any quarter passes that amount, you will get ‘bumped’ off your federal extension and will be required to file a new state claim that could result in a much much lower weekly benefit.

      However, under the new rules, if the benefit you would receive under the new state claim is less (by a certain amount) than what you would get by continuing the federal extension claim, they will put you back on the federal extension claim. There’s a catch though. They use a formula which may reduce your federal extension weekly benefit slightly. I forget the exact formula, but it’s possible that when you go back on the federal extension claim, you might get only 75% of what you were getting before.

      Before temping, I highly recommend looking into this so that you fully understand the rules.

  11. New laws were put in place this year. Based on what I read a month or so ago, they will go back to your last claims rate if you’ve made less than that since. Do some digging. At the time I found several articles to substantiate it.

  12. yeah right, good luck everybody. i was getting $223/week. i took tax work during the tax season and was subsequently bumped down to $84 per week. according to several edd interviewers i qualified for 20 more weeks of $223 according to the new laws. after several weeks, several hours on hold and many many phone calls and interviews I am getting only $84 per week. and you can make that $76 since i’m having them take 10% for taxes.

    it’s b.s. and no and i don’t mean bachelor of science.

    i’m supposed to start a temp job tomorrow.

    • If you feel you are not getting the benefits due you UNDER THE LAW (which sounds like $223 per week based on what several EDD reps have said), I would try asking your senator or representative to intervene on your behalf. If you don’t get results from one representative, call another one.

      I am currently on Tier 1, a federal extension (in California), and recently completed a three day job (a filing project) in which I made about 200% of my usual weekly benefit amount. This job was not found through an agency; it was self-employment. I used the information found on this blog to figure out how to fill out the EDD claim form. I wrote ‘self employed’, my name and address and zip (since I was the real ’employer’), and reported the income for the week it was earned. Under the question ‘why you are no longer working’, I wrote ‘piecework’. I could not file electronically or telephonically (since I had earnings), so I dropped the completed claim form in the mailbox on Sunday, per the usual.

      What’s happened since: The weekly benefit amount for the week I did not work was debited to my EDD card on Thursday so they probably received and processed my claim form fairly quickly.

      Now comes the fun part. I am waiting to see whether they will ask for a ‘self-employment’ interview. If what Darlene says is true, they should not because I already had one of those, near the beginning of my claim some seven months ago. It was my understanding I was ‘cleared’ for self-employment. The only reason I can think of that they would schedule an interview is because I made way more than my weekly benefit amount (the WBA is very small, so that’s easy to do), or perhaps because seven months since they cleared me has lapsed and they may want to check up yet again.

      If I have not received a continuing claim form in the mail by tomorrow (Monday at the absolute latest), then that will likely mean there is a problem. What I don’t want is to have the benefits delayed for 6 to 8 weeks (I hear they are backed up for phone interviews) all because I lucked into a small project and was honest and reported it.

      I know self-employment income does not count toward earnings toward a new state claim…I get that. But I am concerned that there is some rule vis-a-vis the federal extension and self-employment that I do not know about that might interrupt or interfere with my claim. As far as I know, I should qualify for resuming the federal extension without interruption. If anyone knows anything differently, please post!

      For others who may be in the same boat, I will return and update this information once I know more about how my self-employment gig will impact the Tier1 extension.

      • I am following up with my earlier post. The new claim form never showed up. Of course I was uber concerned that they had scheduled me for a phone interview because I had declared some “self employment” income on my last claim. When I signed in to web cert today, the next two weeks weren’t even showing up as being available to claim.

        I knew I could not get through on the phone lines, but tried anyway…many many times. I then tried the Spanish line — no luck there either. I then called the Vietnamese line and got through on the FIRST try. When she answered (in Vietnamese) I explained I could not get through on the English line and asked for her help. She was very sweet and said she would make an exception. She spoke perfect English. A suggestion: Ask for help; don’t demand it. I really think that made a difference.

        It’s a good thing I called. Apparently, anytime you report ‘excessive earnings’ on the SECOND WEEK of your claim form, the system cuts you off and will not send out a new claim form automatically. You have to call them and ask them to manually generate it. So I could have sat here for weeks waiting for a claim form that was never going to arrive. I do not know the formula for determining what constitutes excessive earnings; it’s probably in the EDD handbook or may come up on a Google search. Anyway, because I called in, my new claim form is in the mail and I am back on track.

        She said I had filled out the form correctly and reported the self employment earnings correctly. I thought for sure I had screwed it up because after I ran out of room in the ’employer’ box, I wound up writing the ‘city/state’ in the upper left hand corner. Apparently that did not create a problem. I must have been cleared for self-employment earlier (just as I thought), since they did not question the earnings. As a reminder, I am on Tier 1, a federal extension, so yes, you can have some self employment income while on an extension.

        If it’s your FIRST TIME reporting self employment income, you will be scheduled for a phone interview and must be approved/cleared. The wait to get an interview can be lengthy from what I hear.

        How I filled out the form:

        Reported the dollar amount earned in the appropriate column (in my case, the second week);

        Reported the last day worked and the number of hours worked in the appropriate boxes;

        Reported myself as ’employer’. I wrote ‘self employed’, followed by my name, street address, city/state, and zip. The person who hired me did not withhold taxes, so that means, technically, I am the employer.

        Under ‘reason no longer working’ I wrote “piecework”. It was a one time thing. They call that piece work.

        How I got through the Vietnamese line:

        Call 1-800-547-2058
        Listen to initial message until it pauses (it goes quiet)
        Press 6
        Wait for message to start
        Press 7
        Wait for message to start
        Press 3
        Wait (you can kind of figure out they are asking for your SSN)
        Enter Social Security Number
        Wait for message asking you to confirm
        Press 1 to confirm your SSN
        It takes a minute, then you will hear music while you hold. You may hear an intermittent recorded announcement if you are on hold for more than a few minutes. My wait was two minutes at most.

        Note: You must wait for messages to start before pressing the prompts. You don’t have to listen to the entire message…but you do have to let the message get started.

        Finally, I have to say, taking this short gig created a world of uncertainty for me (vis-a-vis a possible interruption in benefits). If I counted up the hours of worry…it was an emotionally expensive process.

        So if this post can save anyone else either worry or time, then it’s worth the effort.

        Good luck!

  13. @About to Get Screwed: Here is a link to a whole range of information on this issue (temping and changes to weekly benefit amounts) from lots of people who have been through it. Apparently, the ‘fix’ that would remove the penalty for temping for those on extended unemployment compensation, was signed into law by president obama in july 2010. i do not know the particulars of your situation (though would tend to believe the EDD reps who tell you you qualify for the higher WBA), but it would be worth it to hope on over to this site to review the particulars:

    Btw, the best and most informed resource on the web for issues of unemployment is NELP (National Employment Law Project). They have an ‘ask the expert’ section where you can contact them. They cannot answer every eMail, but given the seriousness of your situation, they would likely get back to and advise you. You can also call them and leave a message asking for a callback (worked for me once).



  14. Hello! This is TD following up on my post of yesterday (I am the one who called and got through on the Vietnamese language line). Surprise, surprise. My claim form DID show up in the mail late yesterday. It showed up roughly two to three mailing days later than usual. I had the conversation with EDD yesterday morning, and she told me I would not get one unless I called in to ask them to generate it manually. Remember? Then the very same day the claim form shows up!! So either she did not know what she was talking about, or the system ‘accidentally’ automatically generated a claim form even though I had excessive earnings.

    Since she manually generated a claim form (that I should get by the end of the week), I will soon have two claim forms for the same period. In a previous conversation with EDD (long time ago), I was told that if you have more than one claim form (duplicates), it doesn’t matter which one you complete and mail back since the forms aren’t coded with any identifying numbers. The only thing they care about is if you mail in only one. I am going to use web-cert so it doesn’t really matter, but thought I would mention it.

    So, it’s a little confusing to be told one ‘rule’ then to have that contradicted in the same day with the appearance of the claim form in my mailbox.

    I guess the best advice I can give is that if you do not get your claim form in approximately the time frame that you expect, wait a few days, then to be safe side, call in anyway to make sure you know what’s going on. If there is a mix-up in them mailing it out, it’s better to catch it early.

  15. I have followed the advice and comments on here on occasion as I navigate my way through this ridiculous EDD system, and what I am continuing to find is that every EDD employee who reviews a claim form applies different rules!

    After successfully filling out claim forms and receiving benefits by putting “contract project ended” in the “why are you no longer working” box, I took the advice of some here and wrote “piece work” when I did a few hours’ worth of professional work on a “self-employment” basis. Voila – my claim form was deemed “not properly completed.” I went back to writing “contract project ended” and voila, I got my benefits again.

    Then it gets better – Like the previous poster, I put my own contact information in the “employer” section (just like I have been doing for weeks), and I receive two separate letters – one addressed to me as the claimant, showing that I am making an “additional claim” (against myself as the employer, albeit with my own address and name spelled wrong), and a second letter sent to me as the employer, with my name spelled wrong/address wrong, and showing that I was making a claim against myself. I surely cannot wait to see how THIS turns out. I am pretty much assuming they will look at my response and decide I have no unemployment claim at all. 😛

    The stupidity of the person who looked at my claim form and decided there was a new claim is just remarkable, especially since my name and street name are very uncommon and it would be clear to anyone looking at the form that the “claimant” and the “employer” were one and the same. Argh!!

    • Dear TD and ‘Frustrated’: Many thanks for your posts. I am also in the “self-employed” but confused how to file with EDD situation.
      Frustrated- how did your situation unfold (you received a letter as claimant and as employer)?

      I am about to start a three week contract and am extremely nervous about how I should proceed with EDD.
      I was hoping you could tell me in detail how you filled out the bi-weekly form WHILE you were doing the short term work? My contract will be longer than two weeks and I will be working 40 hours a week.
      In the box for “report employment or source of earnings below” for both week one and week two should I write “still working” in the box where it says “Reason no longer working (or write still working) ??

      I heard that after two weeks of not receiving benefits, the claim will go inactive. Is this true?

      I was told by a UI agent on the phone (yes, one out of 1000 times I called I miraculously got through) that rather than filling out the weekly forms when temp work is being done and earnings are too high to receive anything, it is best to just NOT SEND IN THE FORM. When the contract project ends, contact EDD and reopen existing claim.

      Basically, I desperately need advice for how, as a self-employed person, I should fill out the claim form during my three week contract in which I will be working 40 hr/wk.


      • Earls,

        Luckily, everything worked out ok on my claim. After I sent in two separate letters to the two different EDD addresses on the forms regarding the ‘new claim’ by me, and ‘the claim against me by myself’ 🙂 I had to have a phone interview, where I was asked questions about my self-employment. Basically, they wanted to make sure I was still looking for full-time work, and that my self-employment wasn’t taking away from that. (They also had to correct my ‘last employer,’ which someone at EDD had stupidly put was me.)

        I was asked whether I was looking for full-time work (yes, definitely, 3x a day or more!), what my previous salary was and how many hours I was working ($140k+/40+), how many hours I had worked on a self-employment basis (about 1 hour per week), whether I was renting an office for my self-employment (no), whether I had business cards (yes), and whether I was advertising my services (not really, just getting some small referrals from friends/colleagues).

        I think what is most important is that you make it clear that you are still looking for full-time work (desparately!), and that (other than your temporary project) there is nothing you are doing that is taking away from your availability to take on a full-time job. Because my project work is only an hour to about 4 hours per week and an absolute pittance in terms of income compared to what I was making before, this was easily established.

        The EDD representative “approved” me for self-employment over the phone and said I could continue marking my claims forms as I was. After that, I actually stopped filling in my name and address in the “employer” section and just put “self-employment” instead, and received benefits with no problem. I suspect that you will end up going through the same phone interview process.

        As for what I did with the “reason no longer working” box, I just keep putting “project ended” or “assignment ended” or something like that, even if I make more earnings than I would receive in benefits and still have more work to do. That way, the claim forms keep coming and I don’t have to worry about having to get them started again if they stop. (That just sounds like a hassle waiting to happen.) Your situation may differ slightly because I’m not actually under any contract to keep doing work – I just get project assignments and there is zero guarantee of hours or work in general.

        I don’t know whether I “waste weeks of unemployment” by sending in the forms when I earn more than the benefit amount, but to me, it just seems easier than trying to reopen the claim if it closes. Plus, I don’t want there to be any delay. I have no idea how that works.

        I don’t have any words of advice for you on the “still working” thing on your 3-week contract. I would consider putting ‘still working’ on the first week, then, if it is at all possible based on how your contract is worded, put something like ‘week 2 of project ended’ or something vague like that, so that your next claim form shows up and you can at least claim week four. I have no idea whether that can be done in your situation, or whether it would work. (Obviously, you don’t want to make a false statement!)

        Good luck!

    • @TD Thank you for posting your experience about receiving a duplicate claim form because it was incomplete when you wrote “piece work” under reason no longer working.

      I just experienced the same thing. I’ve been filing for unemployment since March this year. I’ve been writing self employed as name of employer and my mailing address and “piece work” as reason no longer working. I didn’t have any problems getting my claims processed. I did go through a self-employment interview and was approved on the phone.

      However on my recent claim form, I received a duplicate claim form because reason no longer working was incomplete when I wrote “piece work”.

      I’m so relieved you shared your experience. I’m shaking my head wondering why would they send my claim form back when they’ve been processing “piece work” reason without a problem.

      And from reading others’ posts, “piece work” seems to work fine.

      I just mailed the duplicate claim form and this time I wrote “piece work” and “project ended” as you mentioned as reason no longer working.

      Hope this satisfies EDD’s requirement. So frustrating! I’ll post and share with you what happens.

      Thank you Anne and to the others who shared their experiences. It’s really helped me a great deal. It’s difficult enough to look for work in this economy and to deal with EDD’s inefficiencies.

      • Just wanted to update you on my duplicate claim form that I turned in. This time, I wrote “piece work” and “project ended” as reason no longer working and it was processed. Thank goodness!

        I meant to address my comment to @Frustrated. However @TD your post is very helpful too in case I need to reach a live person at EDD.

      • Glad to hear that worked out for you! And knock on wood, I haven’t had any issues after that last fiasco. 🙂 It seems pretty clear that there is either a lack of training, or there are some employees that don’t know the rules or can only follow rules that fit the exact words they know. …kind of like when you order a happy meal at McDonalds and you don’t want the toy. They only know how to ask whether you want the toy for a ‘girl’ or ‘boy,’ and saying “I don’t want the toy” just throws off the whole system and they don’t know how to process that.

  16. Earl — Kudos to Anne for this blog/thread. But in my many months of seeking help with unemployment, the link below is, hands down, the best source of support I have found. There are a few people posting there who really know their stuff. You will quickly figure out who they are. Use the search feature; you will probably find that your question has already been answered. If not, it’s easy to register and post a new topic.


  17. A Question for Frustrated: You said after you contacted EDD about the mix-up, that you had to have a phone interview re self employment Was there a long wait to get the phone interview?

    I am coming up on a benefit year end (I had no W-2 wages so won’t qualify for a new state claim…I will be put back on Tier 2) and am concerned whether they will have to ‘re-approve’ me for self employment. I heard they were backed up on phone interviews…someone said (long time ago) that the wait could be a month to six weeks or longer.

    For some reason I am getting the impression from your post that you did NOT have to wait to get the phone interview. Is this true? Tx.

  18. I received the letter saying that my phone interview was scheduled for about a week and a half after I would have normally received my claim form. So, it wasn’t “too” long – 10 days or so. (I think I actually waited longer for the initial phone interview to get my unemployment claim started!)

    After the phone interview, it took about 4-5 days before the new claim forms arrived again, then they got me pretty much caught up. I seem to always lag behind a little, as they have not sent the newest claim form yet, which I should have been entitled to send in today. I assume it will be in today’s mail.

  19. I have been on unemployment for just over 1 year receiving the max benefit of 450. I recently decided to take a job offer but quit the job on the 5th day because it was not a right fit. Will I completely lose my edd benefits? How can i prevent this from happening? Please help. Does it make a difference if I was fired from the new job after 5 days?

    • Hi what happen to you did you get your benefits back?

  20. Oh boy oh boy! So my story starts with my lay off from a large technology company. I was given 60 days on their payroll but did not have to report in to work. I was encouraged by my boss who laid me off to work temporary in order to double up on income. So I did naturally…

    I landed a temporary position with a temp agency. After one month of employment I was “converted” on to their clients’ payroll system but only as again, a temporary employee. The offer letter indicated that I would be an
    indefinate temp (but under california law I think you can legally only temp up to a year) with a review every 90 days.

    Low and behold, one month later now, they pull me into the office and deliver the bad news that I will be laid off of my temporary position as of June 1, 2012. GREAT…again?

    So I immediately file for UI benefits. Suprise Suprise! I get a call from my boss saying…”Would you be willing to work a temp assignement at one of our other locations? We will not terminate you in the system and keep you on the payroll however we don’t know the dates you will start or how long it will be for”

    Does this mean I am screwed out of my max benefits of $450? How can I receive benefits for the duration between they “figure out start dates” of the assigment and how can I get the same amount after it ends? According to my boss the assigment would be 2-3 weeks in length.

    The UI sstem really does suck!

  21. This is the website i used for help, the blog they have there covers alot of different issues

  22. I am currently on Tier 3 of the extension and applied for a temporary 1 week job as an independent contractor. I am wondering if this will screw up my unemployment benefits?

  23. Hello here is another story that i would love to write to Mr president about i was on unemployment i am a single mother of one and i took a job from a job agency they called me about and i only worked 3 hours finished my shift that was it .. i reported the whole 40 dollars i made .. than a month later i get no check no letter no call i had to call myself to find out that i had a phone appointment 2 weeks later . so i get a 3 day letter from my land lord and all my bills are backed up .. so turns out the job agency or should i say the corporate office said i quit the assignment not true so i get my call yesterday and the edd guy that called me started off by telling me he had a bad week and was complaining about his job and the employees he works with i could hardly get a word in he did tell me he believes me but if the job agency says something different then i loose WOW it was a Friday but still it was no reason for this guy to act the way he did . there goes my faith in the system i have never been with out work in my life its hard out there i have been on at-least 6 interview in the last month and still nothing . people warned me not to take temp jobs i should have listned i was just hoping for a job with this agency she told me it could be long term never will i believe these people again …

    • Claudia, I am so sorry to hear your story.

      When I ran into EDD difficulty over crossed information a couple of years ago, I called my state representative. Their office could not do enough for me, and I hope your representative can help you out with the same enthusiasm.

      Please let us know how things go. I think we all have our fingers crossed for you.

      Very best wishes,

      ~~ Anne

  24. This is a great post with well-explained comments. I wish I had found this post earlier, because I might have erred in how I handled my part-time, independent contractor employment with California EDD.

    In November I was on tier 3 of the federal extension when a friend let me know about an employer looking for someone to do part-time, self-employed 1099 work for an indefinite period. At that time I was filing my continued claim via web-cert. When I indicated on web-cert that I had earnings, it let me know that I needed to file the paper continued claim form (DE4581). The first time I filled out that form, I was not sure what to put in section 6 for employer name and mailing address as it related to my circumstances as a self-employed, independent contractor. I found no answers on EDD’s website, or in the EDD handbook, that applied to my situation. As a result, I have been putting in the name of the company where I’ve done the work.

    Once I did that, I got a feeling something was wrong when I received a Notice of Uninsurance Claim Filed (DE1101) indicating the company where I am doing my work as my previous employer. This made no sense to me, so I emailed EDD about the notice (because I phoned and could never get through, even when I tried one of the foreign language lines – the rep would not talk to me and told me to hang up and use the English language line). EDD’s emailed answer 10 days later did not make sense. Around the same time, the company where I’m doing my work got something in the mail from EDD requiring information on my work there.

    Up through the week ending 12/22, I have been filing the paper continued claim for each week and putting the same info down for employer name and address. Now, as I read the comments on this website and post, I realize that I have been putting the wrong info in the employer name & address part of section 6.

    After 12/22 I did not receive another paper continued claim form for the next period, then in the mail this week I got a letter from EDD scheduling an interview on Monday, 1/14. The letter doesn’t narrow exactly what we will discuss, but it does mention last employer name and address as one of several topics that might be discussed.

    Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on my situation? Any suggestions on the best way to explain my error in the interview?

    • Well my situation was different they were trying to say i quit the assignment which was not true after months on investigation then finally the truth came out i only worked for 2 days at the agency and i started getting my benefits again but it toot a while and they do work on Saturdays so expect a call on saturated for your interview goood luck withh EDD becuse they suck

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