Employment Development Department encourages individuals to apply for unemployment benefits


Standard one-week waiting period has been waived in wildfire and power shutdown areas, so people can apply immediately

SACRAMENTO – Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s waiving of the one-week waiting period to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI), the Employment Development Department (EDD) is encouraging those unable to work due to several ongoing wildfires and extensive power shutdowns implemented across California to apply for benefits immediately, and utilize available EDD support resources.

Governor Newsom waived the standard one-week waiting period for obtaining UI benefits as part of his statewide emergency declaration due to wildfires in Northern and Southern California, as well as the utility-directed power shutoffs that have impacted millions of residents this month. The waiver allows eligible individuals impacted by fires covered under the governor’s disaster proclamation to be paid UI benefits for the first week they are unemployed providing them a full two weeks of benefits on their first payment.

“We strongly encourage anyone who lost their jobs or had their hours reduced due to the fires or related weather conditions and power outages to file an Unemployment Insurance claim as soon as possible,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning.

Those who meet eligibility requirements may receive benefit payments that will range from $40 to $450 a week based on their past earnings. Benefits are generally paid on a bi-weekly basis as long as the claimant remains unemployed and otherwise eligible.

The fastest way to apply for benefits is online. For more information, visit the Unemployment Insurance section of the EDD website or contact the EDD.

Additional EDD Resources for Employees and Employers

Disability Insurance (DI)

  • Provides partial wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.
  • Individuals injured due to the fires may be eligible for DI benefits.Paid Family Leave (PFL)
  • Provides benefits to individuals who lose wages when they need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
  • Individuals who need to care for a family member injured in the fires may be eligible for PFL benefits.Employer Tax Assistance
    • Employers directly affected by the fires or power shutoffs may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their required state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
    • Visit the EDD website’s Emergency and Disaster Assistance for Employers page for more information.Workforce Services/Job Assistance
      • EDD Workforce Services representatives will often be available along with other resource and service providers at Local Assistance Centers that may be established by state and local officials.
      • EDD representatives can provide employment-affected individuals with a wide range of job search assistance and employer support services, as well as other general support, referrals, and resources.
      • Individuals can also visit CalJOBSSM, California’s online job exchange system or visit a local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM. You can find the office closest to you through the EDD website’s office locator.



  1. Tiffiny

    Is there a reason why the unemployment PAT system is not working! I have been calling since friday and systems were down. Tried to file my claim today, is Sunday and system has been down all day! I don’t see how this is any way funny at all. People are counting on that money. Unemployment is nothing but a headache to deal with and is a huge joke at that!

  2. Mike

    Trying to file CA unemployment. UI online issue is Add Work Type search button produces an error message. Tried different browsers, clearing cache. Issue may be I chose Agriculture Growing . It actually comes up “culture” Maybe corrupted because it says culture not Agriculture? Please fix so I can move forward.

  3. Jodi

    I have 2 questions
    I have had my sole proprietor business (CeeJay’s Place for Flowers). for the past 34 and half years. I am a candidate for unemployment benefits.

    1). The application locks me out. The standard answers – “choose one” is very difficult. Especially when it comes to the ADD WORK TYPE –

    2.) Is calculation based on my quarterly Sales minus sales tax.


    Thank you

    • Shauna

      I’m unable to complete my application because Add Work Type function is not working!!! The entire process is being held up because of this one function not functioning. When I call the assistance numbers they don’t answer due to high call volume. In a few hours it’ll be 8p sat and I’ll have to start all over again!!! 😡😠

  4. Gil

    I have had the same problem as Shauna above for nearly two months now. I can’t get through to anyone at the various EDD help lines. I completed a complaint form early last month and still have not heard from EDD.
    The “Work Type” portion of the UIOnline application does not work properly. A search menu should appear when the Search button is pressed but only an error message is returned. I tried inputting various job titles into the text box but nothing works.

  5. Lana L Tucker

    Here it is in June and I am having the same problem. The add work type does not work. I have been trying literally for days and nothing. I looked up the code for housekeeper and put it in the box…
    will not take code. Could someone please help?

  6. Leah

    ADD WORK TYPE button locks me out. Tells me to hit SEARCH button to find the type of work I normally do. But the SEARCH button doesn’t work. No list of work types opens. Instead, I get an error message. From the above comments, it looks like this has been the case since at least the beginning of April and it is now July!

    Has anyone out there figured it out?

    • Gil Mac

      Input two digits for the number of years and months for the length of employment e.g. 01 not 1.

  7. Elizabeth Leach

    I need an answer to the above concern regarding the work type function (search); it is not working for me either!


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