Service Name: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Organization Name: California State Employment Development Department - Orange County


Location Name: California Unemployment Insurance Office

  • Accessibility: No information has been provided by Agency.
  • Physical Address: Confidential, Sacramento, CA, 94280
  • Mailing Address: PO Box 826880, Sacramento, CA, 94280
  • Description: Provides assistance to Californians who are unemployed business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others who are not usually eligible for regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.

    On December 27, 2020, the President signed legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits that expired on December 26, 2020.

    New legislation:
    • Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program by 11 weeks, providing up to 57 weeks of benefits.
    • Extends the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program by 11 weeks, providing up to 24 weeks of benefits.

    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) includes: 
    • Up to 39 weeks of benefits, starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020, depending on when the individual became directly impacted by the pandemic. 
    • An additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount, the individual may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 25 are eligible for the extra $600 payments. 
    • A new 13-week federal extension for those who run out of their regular state-provided UI benefits (maximum 26 weeks). File a PUA claim and the claim may be converted to the federal extension once it is available. 
    Benefits can be retroactive to weeks starting on or after February 2, 2020, depending on the last day of work due to COVID-19 and regardless of when the claim application was submitted. The effective date of the claim will begin the Sunday of the week last worked and became unemployed due to reasons directly related to COVID-19. 
    Eligibility Chart - Individuals are eligible if they meet one of the 3 following scenarios
    Scenario 1: 
    • Business Owner, Self-Employed Individual, or Independent Contractor
    • Do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in California or another state
    • AND do not qualify for state Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits
    Scenario 2: 
    • Qualified for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits
    • Have already collected all UI benefits
    Scenario 3: 
    • If the individual is not a US citizen, the individual can only be paid Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, if:
      • The individual was legally working in the US when they were affected by COVID-19. 
      • Can only claim benefits for the weeks that they were legally allowed to work. 
    • Must also meet one of the following: 
      • Diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis. 
      • Unable to work because a health care provider advised he individual to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. 
      • A member of the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
      • Individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
      • A child or other person in the household for whom the individual has the primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of COVID-19 and the school or facility care is required for the individual to work. 
      • The individual became the breadwinner (main income earner) or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19. 
      • The individual has to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19. 
      • The individual's place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19. 
      • The individual was scheduled to start a job that is now  unavailable as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
      • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
      • If the individual works as an independent contractor with reportable income, the individual may also qualify for PUA benefits if unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited the ability to continue performing customary work activities and thereby forced the individual to stop working. 
  • Website:
  • Phone(s): 800-326-8937
  • Hours: Website: available 24 hours, 7 days a week; Unemployment Insurance General Office Hours: 8:00 am-8:00 pm Monday-Sunday; Unemployment Insurance Claims Support: 8:00 am-12:00 pm Monday-Friday
  • Eligibility: - Please see the chart above for more information
  • Requirements: - Proof of Citizenship (if not a US citizen, will need information from employment authorization); Employment History from the last 18 months (i.e. name of the company or companies as they appear on the paycheck, dates of employment, hours worked per week, gross wages earned, hourly rate of pay, and reason for no longer working); Specific information from the last employer or company (i.e. mailing address, phone number, supervisor's name, total gross wages for the last week the individual worked, and reason for the change in employment); If a former federal employee, must have Notice to Federal Employees about Unemployment Insurance (Standard Form 8); If served in the military in the last 18 months, must have Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214)
  • Areas Served:
    • United States
  • Categories:
  • Contacts: