Unemployment benefits in California, how to qualify

Many Americans benefitted from unemployment benefits throughout the pandemic, and like most states, California has a process as well.

newspaper with unemployment headline

While most states have an unemployment process, rules and what you earned before applying differ between states.

When you apply for benefits, you must meet all criteria first.


Are benefits taxed income?

Eligibility requirements in California for unemployment include

  • Earning enough wages during your base period
  • Must be entirely or partially unemployed
  • Unemployment can’t be your fault
  • Have the physical ability to work
  • Be available to work
  • If work presents itself, be ready, able, and willing to work immediately

Certifying for unemployment benefits

You must recertify every two weeks by answering questions to show you still meet the eligibility requirements.

You must wait one week before you can qualify for benefits after applying.

If you answer any of these questions inaccurately, you may face a delay in your benefits.