Nearly 16 months after coronavirus lockdowns began, California is open for business. As job growth continues and the economy rebounds, beginning July 11, Californians who collect unemployment must look for work to maintain their benefits. EDD refers to these people as “claimants” – individuals who claim unemployment benefits.
California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) has a new webpage to help people who are returning to work. The page includes career training opportunities and other work search services available to Californians looking for a job.
Here are five things California job seekers should remember as they prepare to reenter the workforce:
- By July 11, Californians on unemployment benefits should be looking for work.
The work search requirement has been around since the beginning of the unemployment program, but EDD made a temporary exception to the requirement in 2020 to give people flexibility during the pandemic. The requirement starts again this month.
In phases over the coming weeks, Californians who collect unemployment benefits will receive notices from EDD with additional details about the work search requirement and what it means for them based on their claim. Throughout the month of July, claimants should look for this information by text, email, mailed correspondence or through their UI Online accounts.
- Work search requirements are based on benefit claim type.
While all Californians who collect unemployment must look for work, the requirements for those collecting benefits on a regular unemployment insurance claim or an associated extension are different than the requirements for people who receive federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
The reason boils down to this: PUA was created to support individuals impacted by the pandemic who did not qualify for a regular unemployment insurance claim because they were self-employed or a small-business owner. Claimants can log into their UI Online account to identity their claim type.
- There are multiple ways to look for work.
Searching for work includes any reasonable effort to find a job. In addition to applying and interviewing for open positions, there are several other ways to meet the job search requirement. For most people, these include:
- Searching for jobs online, in newspapers or in other publications.
- Sending resumes to employers or adding a resume to a job board, like CalJOBS.ca.gov.
- Contacting employers (including past employers) about a job or to follow up on a job-related letter, email or a resume that was submitted. This can be done online, in person, by mail or by telephone.
- Creating a user profile on a professional networking site.
- Registering with a staffing service, temp agency, recruiter or placement agency.
- Visiting with potential employers in person.
- Talking with friends about job openings.
- Tell EDD about efforts to find a job by answering “Yes” to Certification Question No. 3.
Californians receiving unemployment must certify for these benefits every two weeks. During certification, claimants are asked a series of yes or no questions to determine if they meet unemployment eligibility requirements. Beginning in July, the answer must be “Yes” to Certification Question No. 3, “Did you look for work?”
Claimants should read and answer all questions very carefully every time they certify. Answering incorrectly can delay payment and could mean that EDD must interview the person to determine if they are eligible for unemployment benefits. This process can take a long time.
- The best place to learn more is online.
EDD’s 24/7 self-service website is the fastest and most convenient way to get information about searching for work and various other unemployment-related topics. The new webpage for job seekers is a one-stop resource with facts about work search requirements, no-cost work search assistance and career training opportunities.
On the site, job seekers can learn how to set up an account on CalJOBS, the virtual job center that includes thousands of job postings and tools to help people find work. Or explore the resume development, interview preparation and career training options available through America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). Virtual support is ongoing, and in-person services are available in many locations by appointment only.
For more information:
Job Seekers: Returning to Work – EDD.ca.gov/ReturnWork.htm
CalJOBS – CalJOBS.ca.gov
America’s Job Centers of California Office Locator – EDD.ca.gov/office_locator