5/11 Update on California Unemployment Benefits

Dear Client:

If you are out of work or had your hours reduced, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits from California’s employment Development Department (EDD). Benefits you can apply for is Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) or/and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Unemployment Insurance (UI)
You may be eligible for UI if you have income reported on a W2 and California provides up to 26 weeks of UI benefits depending on the amount of your earnings during the four-quarter period on which your
claim is based.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
As part of the federal CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment Benefits. PUA supports claims between February 2 and December 26, 2020.

If you are a business owner, independent contractor, self-employed worker, freelancer, or gig worker and only received a 1099 tax form last year, you are most likely eligible for PUA.

• Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020,through the week ending December 26, 2020

It is also available to people who have exhausted their regular UI claims.

• A new 13-week federal extension for those who run out of their regular state-provided UI benefits (maximum 26 weeks).

PUA Benefits
Initial Payments

  • February 2, 2020 ~ March 28, 2020: $167 per week
  • March 29, 2020 ~ July 25, 2020: $167 plus $600 per week
  • July 26, 2020 ~ December 26, 2020: $167 per week

    After these initial payments, depending on your prior earnings, your weekly amount of $167 per week may be increased.


    The fastest way to apply for benefits is through UI Online.


    You can also apply for PUA by phone, mail, or fax.

    Enya Hong, CPA
    CC: Steve Kang, CPA