Applying for unemployment benefits in California is easy and can be completed online.  Alternatively, you can apply for unemployment benefits in California by telephone, mail, or fax. Continue reading to learn how you can quickly obtain your unemployment benefits in California.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits in California Online

To apply for unemployment benefits in California online, visit, UI Online.

First, you must create an online login.  Select register and create a UI Benefits profile.

Be sure to check your email’s junk or spam folder if you do not receive a confirmation email upon creating your UI Benefits profile.

Second, log into UI Benefits Online with your new log in and select UI Online.

Third, select File New Claim.

Please be advised that you will only be permitted to file a new claim during the following times:

  • Sunday                                  5 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday                                 4 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday – Friday                2 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday                               2 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Fourth, provide your general information, last employer information, and employment history.  You will need the following information to complete the application:

  • Name, address, and phone number
  • Social Security number
  • California driver license or identification (ID) card 
  • Citizenship status (which may include your alien registration number)
  • Last employer information at the time you are filing the claim (regardless of the length of time you worked for the employer), including name, address (mailing and physical location) and phone number (including area code)
  • Last date worked and the reason you are no longer working for the last employer
  • Gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work.
  • Information on all employers you worked for during the past 18 months, including name, address (mailing and physical location), period of employment, gross wages earned, hours worked per week, hourly rate of pay, and reason no longer working.
  • Pension Information (if applicable): Do not include Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or a pension based on another person’s (such as your spouse’s) employment.

Fifth, review the information to ensure that it is correct.  If it is correct, press submit.

Sixth, review the confirmation page and keep your confirmation number for your records.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits in California by Telephone

EDD representatives will assist you with filing for unemployment benefits in California Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.

  • Call 1-800-300-5616 for English;
  • Call 1-800-326-8937 for Spanish;
  • Call 1-800-547-3506 for Cantonese;
  • Call 1-866-303-0706 for Mandarin;
  • Call Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits in California by Fax or Mail

To apply for unemployment benefits in California by fax or mail, please fill out this application.

If you wish to apply via fax, fax the completed form to 1-866-215-9159.

If you wish to apply via mail, send the completed application to EDD P.O. Box 12906, Oakland, California 94604-2909.

After filing for unemployment benefits, EDD will mail you information about your claim, including a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award indicating your weekly benefit amount.  Processing applications may take up to ten days. Once your claim has been processed, EDD will send you your first Continued Claim Form (DE 4581), which you must complete to certify for and receive unemployment benefits. Alternatively, you may elect to certify for benefits by telephone by calling 1-866-333-4606.

Payment is made electronically through an EDD issued Debit Card.  EDD will mail you your card after your first unemployment insurance payment has been issued.

Have a question regarding unemployment benefits in California?  Has EDD denied your claim?  Has EDD issued a Notice of Overpayment?  Contact Astanehe Law for your free UI Benefits consultation today.  Our experienced attorneys are ready to assist you today!  Contact Astanehe Law by phone at (415) 226-7170, email at, or click here.