Enhanced Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act provides for a supplement of state-paid unemployment compensation of up to $600 per week for benefits received between March 29 and July 25, 2020. The Act also provides a program (also known as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program) for states to provide unemployment compensation for individuals who are not eligible for state and federal unemployment programs, including self-employed workers, independent contractors, and people who quit their job for coronavirus-related reasons. Lastly, the Act provides for states to expand their existing unemployment benefits by 13 weeks. These provisions will be implemented by the California Employment Development Department in conjunction with guidance from the United States department of Labor.

On August 8, the President signed an Executive Order requiring the federal government to approve a lost wages assistance program that authorizes the Governor to provide a $400 payment per week to eligible claimants from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020 until specified funds are depleted or December 6, 2020, whichever comes first. However, that payment is condition on state participation.

For more information on accessing these benefits, see EDD’s page on COVID-19, which contains tips on faster processing of applications and where to go if you need help filling out an application: www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm