FED-ED job hunt rules more stringent than CA EDD’s

It’s important to note that 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 allowed a jobseeker to refuse work that paid substantially less than she was making before.

As this excerpt from the EDD site states federal requirements are much less forgiving:

If you are eligible to file a FED-ED extension, you must follow additional eligibility requirements in order to receive your weekly payments.

Typically, individuals have been instructed to seek full-time work (or in some cases, part-time work) and are required to report contact with a minimum of three employers per week.
Accept any offer for work you are capable of performing if the weekly gross pay would be equal to or greater than the weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED extension. You may be disqualified for benefits if you do not accept the job.

For example:

The weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED extension is $450. You are offered a job working 40 hours per week at $11.25 per hour. You must accept that job offer because your total earnings for one week would be equal to the weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED claim ($11.25 x 40 = $450).

If we’re reading this correctly, it means you have to prove and provide contact information for at least three work search contacts per week, and you must accept a job you can do as long as it pays the same or above the rate of your unemployment award. The federal government expects you to take this seriously, so be aware that if you blithely apply to your local big box store and they offer you $11.50, you’ll have a new job. This might explain the sudden $12 per hour “competetive pay rate” appearing all over job ads, too.

Here’s Why is monitoring this situation and will add any new information as soon as it is available, but strongly encourages readers to rely on the EDD web pages and sign up for EDD’s RSS feed or their Twitter account in order to stay on top of the details.


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  1. […] state’s unemployment rate. Note also that if you are moved into the FED-ED status, the regulations are much more stringent than on a regular umemployment […]

  2. […] FED-ED job hunt rules more stringent than CA EDD’s […]

  3. I’m just trying to find out what the “unemployment rate threshold” is . . . what percentage qualifies a state . . . I keep seeing reference to it but no actual number

    • Hello Molly,

      Thanks for your question. The answer is not clearly defined for us lay people, but here is the official one http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/EB_law_for_web.pdf

      You’ll find the trigger calculations broken down under Section 203 (beginning on page 4 of the PDF).

      Math, and its ilk, was my worst subject, and I welcome any input from other readers who can help.

      From what I understand in Section D, state eligibility for Federal Extended Benefits are determined by (Section D 1A) calculations based on previous quarters’ unemployment numbers – much the way regular UI claims can be readjusted based on an individual’s earnings – and by whether the state also reaches an unemployment rate of 5% or higher Section D1B).

      So EB is not calculated merely by a static 5% or higher unemployment rate per state, but also by the fluctuating numbers of unemployed residents in previous quarters.

      Thus, California has fallen out of federal eligibility because apparently we have not “equaled or exceeded 120 per centum of the average of such rates for the corresponding thirteen-week period ending in each of the preceding two calendar years” – in other words, our unemployment rate has remained painfully high but has not increased enough to merit federal aid.

      Molly, as you probably know, there is plenty of talk about benefits being reinstated at the begining of 2011 if they can be piggybacked onto tax cut extensions and/or other propositions.

      Let me know how you are doing, will you?

      Very best wishes,

      ~~ Anne

      • Thank you Anne, it seems there is definately flaws in the policy but I appreciate you demystifying the formuala. I gave my 30 day notice to move today, but fortunately without penalty. However, I interviewed last week to drive a city bus and it looks promising. Even though I have Master’s degree in Public Administration I’ll drive a bus. It’s been brutal but if I get the job I won’t have to move afterall.

        Take care and thanks for your insite.


  4. Diane, good luck! That would be a real boost for year’s end.

    I hope you will check in later and let us know how you are doing.

    All the best!


  5. How will I file for Fed Ed when the time comes and how is the weekly paperwork different? To be honest most of us are so desperate we are already applying and searching anywhere or anywhere we can.
    I am I Tier 3? I was laid off late July 2009 and had a short lived temp job that briefly took me off. My parent claim of 26 weeks took me to end/first week of this year. Tier 1 would have been till like end of may with 2 then three of 13 to be finishing beginning of Jan. After tier 4 do I call in or fax in my paperwork as I did with my parent claim? How does it work? I would appreciate any help ahead of time just so I can get things organized
    Thank you

    • Hi Shelby,

      Thanks for writing. I am not affiliated with any government organization and can not provide you with legal advice, but I hope this will help answer your questions.

      If you are in California, the EDD website may be of some aid regarding the clarification of Tiers and Extensions and their deadlines.

      With the extension of the application deadlines through 2012, the EDD breaks down the new schedule as follows (from the EDD website at the link above):

      UI Benefits Provided During This Recession
      UI Claims Maximum Weeks of Benefits Deadline for Starting This Type of UI Claim
      Regular UI Claim Up to 26 weeks of benefits Once someone becomes unemployed
      1st Tier Federal Extension Up to 20 weeks December 25, 2011
      2nd Tier Federal Extension Up to 14 weeks January 1, 2012
      3rd Tier Federal Extension Up to 13 weeks January 1, 2012
      4th Tier Federal Extension Up to 6 weeks January 1, 2012
      Separate FED-ED Extension Up to 20 weeks of benefits January 8, 2012
      POTENTIAL TOTAL MAXIMUM BENEFITS Up to 99 weeks of benefits

      To find out anything to do with your individual claim, try the Contact Us page.

      So far, it seems the EDD has been doing the filing after an initial claim is submitted. You should keep an eye on their website to see what changes may be in the works, though.

      Good luck!

      ~~ Anne

  6. I was wondering, when you’re on FED-ED, do you have to list your job contacts on every single claim form?

    I don’t think I’ll ever get to the FED-ED level the way things are going. But, on the plus side, I am starting to scare up more work. Right now, it’s intermittent and part-time, but who knows?

    It’s hard to find three jobs to apply for each week sometimes. I would hate to have to do it every single week. However, if you are on FED-ED, you are at the end of your rope and it’s do or die time.

    But, I wonder if contacting your staffing agency/employer for work counts as making a job contact? Or, does it have to be new contacts each week?

    • Hi Darlene,

      Thanks for checking in with Here’s Why.

      I understand from friends who are on the FED-ED extension that they are required to report three new work contacts each week.

      Since I have not seen the form myself, nor have I read any related instructions, I can’t say for sure what is required in terms of the contact person or agency.

      It seems to me, though, that you have to look for three fresh jobs per week. That doesn’t answer your question about an agency, though. You may be able to list it as a new contact only if you know about a new and specific job they are trying to fill.

      I don’t know, though, and I’m sorry not to be more helpful.

      Are there any other readers who could be more specific?

      Thanks again, Darlene, and good luck!


  7. i just started the fed-ed extension and i have to fill out back of form that has ten spaces for jobs now i herd that i only need to fill out 3 per wk not five anybody know

    • Hello Ray,

      Thanks for your question. I haven’t seen that form yet, myself. My understanding is that you must write down at least three new work contacts per week. I imagine the extra spaces are there if you have found more than that.

      Anyone out there on the federal extended benefits system? We’d love to hear from you!

      Very best wishes to you, Ray.

      ~~ Anne

  8. I am on my last 20 wks of benefits (fed ed extension). However my edd claim expires on July 10th. I guess my question is that since I am on the seperate fed ed extension will I have to reaply for edd when the claim expires? or will the 20 wks just continue till they run out and then I will just not get any more?

    • Hi Amanda,

      Currently there are four California EDD tiers, followed by the separate 20 weeks of Fed-ED, which will be valid as long as California continues to meet the criteria. Once Fed-ED has expired, there are no more tiers of unemployment insurance.

      Here’s the way the EDD breaks it down (scroll down to see the chart): http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Federal_Unemployment_Insurance_Extensions.htm

      There are no plans to extend Fed-ED. The maximum number of weeks available remain a total of 99 – hence, as you are no doubt aware, the term “99ers” has been applied to those who have run out of all benefits.

      I’ve been sending readers over to Unemployed Friends, which is in my opinion one of the most comprehensive sites on this subject. They have an entire section of their forums dedicated to resources for those who have run out of benefits: See Unemployed Friends Resources & Government Assistance page.

      Good luck, Amanda! I hope you will check back and let us know how you are doing.

      All the best,


  9. Hi,
    My original UI claim was filed in 5/2009, and my UI stub shows that my “Claim Expires 5/15/10”. My 99 weeks will be up sometime this month, and yet according to EDD, I’m on my 4th extension. My question is: Will I be eligible for the FED-ED extension (20 weeks)? So confused. Thank you!

    • Hi Gail,

      The EDD breaks down the tiers on their website (see above for the link and chart).

      Since I am not an EDD employee, I’m afraid I can’t give you any answers specific to your situation. Did you have any interruption in your claim through a temp job? I have heard of that extending the CA UI dates when people pick up a claim again, but I repeat, I don’t know their full circumstances.

      Have any other Here’s Why readers experienced something like this? As always, we’d love to hear form you.

      In the meantime, best wishes to you, Gail.

      — Anne

  10. Hello,
    If I am going to go to school full time and possibly may get financial aid can I still recieve unemployment?
    Amanda Tackett

    • If you claim unemployment benefits in California and go to an uapproved training program, you will lose any Unemp. Benefits you may collect/ or are collecting.

  11. Does that make me a rebal? lol

  12. I just finished tier 4 and am wondering if I am eligible for the add’l 20 weeks on the FED-ED extension. For previous tiers, the unemployment office automatically moved me to the next level but they have not done so w the FED-ED extension. I am from Indiana and am wondering if I have to file paperwork or am just not eligible. thanks

  13. Hello and thanks for all the info on this site….Do you have to file for the FED-ED extension or does EDD take care of that.?

  14. i received my fed-ed extention and have to fill out the back of the form with 3 employer contacts for each week. You need to fill out date applied, company name, company address, person contacted, type of work applied and results of conatact. My questions is what are you suppost to put for results of contact??? Thanks

    • Hi Lea,

      Thanks for writing. When I was on the federal extension, I filled out “pending,” “waiting,” or sometimes even “no response” and had no trouble. Perhaps other readers can add to this?

      Good luck, Lea, and thanks for your question!

      ~~ Anne

  15. I am on Tier 1 in California and, barring employment before then, will qualify to file for Tier 2. My claim (which is good for one year) will expire about eight weeks after I start Tier 2.

    Does anyone know what will happen when my claim expires? My main concern is whether there are any work requirements to requalify or start a new claim, and, if so, whether that would change the weekly benefit.

    The only work I have been able to find (since starting this claim) has been contract work — no W-2 wages, in other words — and not even very much of that.

    If anyone has been through this process and can advise, please post!

    For some reason I THINK what will happen is that since I have had no w-2 earnings to qualify for a new claim, that I will lose the existing Federal Tier benefits, even though I have not yet exhausted them.

    • As a followup to my original post…I wrote to EDD and asked them what would happen when my claim expires (when I reach benefit year end) while still having a balance remaining on a federal tier. They replied in about three to four working days (not too shabby!). I must file a new claim. If the new claim is ‘invalid’ (it will be because I have had no W-2 earnings during the claim year), they will put me back on the federal extension (in this case, on Tier 2). So that’s a relief! Once Tier 2 expires, unless Congress takes action before then to extend the program yet again, that will be the end of federal extension benefits available to me (and millions of others who are unemployed).

      I also wanted to mention that I discovered an incredible forum where someone who is VERY knowledgeable about unemployment is posting answers (ariadne22). Had I seen that forum first, I would not have had any need to contact EDD. The link is here:

      Finally, one other bit of advice. For California EDD, ALWAYS register with both telecert AND web-cert so that if one method of filing your two-week claim is not working, you can use the other. Today, when I went to web-cert (my preferred method) to file, the box that came up said I was ‘current’ and that there were no claims periods for which I could submit. This clearly was not true. So I hopped on over to tele-cert and, thankfully, I was able to file that way. Several months ago, the tele-cert was not working (it kept rejecting my pin), and I used web-cert instead. A day or so later, tele-cert was accepting my pin again. So, register for both methods of filing your two week claim!!

      • Hi TD,

        Thank you so much for posting this information, and for passing along the forum link. It looks like an extensive, in-depth conversation among people who are up to date with unemployment issues.

        Best wishes to you, TD, and thank you again for sharing this!

        ~~ Anne

  16. Currently I’m on week 12 of the 13 week tier 3 extention. I’ve been on Unemployment benifits already now for 2 years because I qualified for a second claim of 26 weeks. Tier 4 is next, (6 weeks). Tier 5, the FED-ED extention (20 weeks) I would not start until after March 4th, so the Federal government would have to extend beyond then for me to qualify. The Unemployement rate in California has been going down. Isn’t the Fed-ed Extention tied to the progress of the current, and past rate of unemployment in California. I fear I my not get it, if I come around to it. Any Ideas? Thank you.

    • Yes, FED-ED is tied to state rates of unemployment and some kind of ‘look back’ or average. Though California’s rate of unemployment is showing modest improvement, I can’t imagine anything is going to change so drastically in the next few months that the state would become disqualified for the federal program. California continues to have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. If you need the exact formula for states and FED-ED, you might want to explore the forum that I mentioned in the post above.

  17. i was getting unemployment benefits seen 2010 and i did not know about the FED ed extensions for another 20 weeks edd did not send me any notice about the FED extensions and i thought my benefits was end. My question is from 2010 until now im still unemployment can i still back claim those FED ed extensions from edd.

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