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Getting the best out of the unemployment and disability department

This article is another installment in our ongoing series designed to help you navigate the sometimes frustrating state bureaucracy. Unemployment or a disability that prevents you from working can be one of the most emotionally and financially challenging situations a person can face. During the good times, you and your employer contribute into an insurance system that is designed to provide financial benefits to help you get through these periods of injury or joblessness.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD), one of the largest state departments, serves citizens with Unemployment Insurance (UI), State Disability Insurance (SDI), or job hunting and training. We know that people sometimes become frustrated or confused by how to navigate the EDD system. To help with this, the EDD has created new automated and online services for claimants, employers, and job searchers. These many online programs will make time spent with the EDD faster, more helpful, and more efficient.

The first service is CALJobs, an internet job listing database for employers and job seekers that provides both job postings and uploaded candidate resumes. To start your profile you can log-on to the CALJobs website for an easier and more convenient way to job hunt.

For those receiving UI and SDI benefits the department has developed faster ways to receive aid. The first is through the EDD Debit Card from Bank of America, which allows for Direct Deposit Transfer, a method that can deliver aid directly to the claimants account instead of mail order. To order an EDD debit card, stop by your local Bank of America to begin the process.

Another program the EDD has developed is for claimants who submit a bi-weekly Continued Claim. While normally this process is done by mail, now it can also be done online or over the phone, using EDD Web-Cert and EDD Tele-Cert. Both these programs offer a more efficient delivery system that will reduce the common errors that can delay benefits. Customers using EDD Web-Cert will register a User Name and Password in order to file claims online.

Those choosing to use the EDD Tele-Cert can call the toll free automated self-service number, 1-866-333-4606, and file their claim using the keypad on their phone. First time users of the Tele-Cert system will be asked to enter their Social Security Number and to establish a Personal Identification Number that will be used for future calls. The questions asked on EDD Web-Cert/Tele-Cert are the same questions on the paper Continued Claim form. While both these programs are faster, they do not certify all UI programs. A list of non-certifiable claims can be found on the EDD website. Both the EDD Web-Cert and Tele-Cert have 24/7 access, making it convenient for anyone to use at any time.

Finally, the eApply4UI service lets citizens apply for Unemployment Insurance online in Spanish or English. This program can be found through the Employment Development Department website and customers are guided through the application with a series of questions. Before filing a claim, it is helpful to have all the necessary information ready and the EDD has compiled a list of the information customers will be asked to provide. Whether a customer chooses to apply online or through mail, having this information ready will increase the speed of any filing process.

For more information on these new services, you can check the New Automated and Online Services page. And don’t forget to check the Tip of the Week for helpful hints that could pertain to you. With the ease of these new online programs the efficiency of the Employment Development Department will allow better service and faster benefits for our citizens. If you require additional service and cannot get through on EDD phone lines, please feel free to contact my office and my staff can assist you in contacting EDD.