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Who qualifies for unemployment compensation in California?

There are few things worse than losing one’s job. Getting laid-off is a constant threat in today’s economy, and countless Californians have experienced the harshness and shock of an unexpected layoff. While there is unemployment compensation available as a safety net for laid-off workers, there are many requirements to obtaining these crucial benefits. For disputes related to unemployment compensation, it may be best to speak with an attorney.

Before an unemployment claim can be paid to a laid-off individual in California, that person must meet certain requirements. These criteria include being totally or partially unemployed, being both physically able to work as well as readily available for work, be actively searching for work and also willing to immediately accept work. In addition, if a person is to receive training benefits, they must also be approved for training.

Moreover, in order for a person to be eligible for unemployment compensation in California, they must have earned enough wages during the base period to be able to establish a claim in the first place. In other words, a person generally has to have worked for a certain period of time in order to be eligible for benefits. The “base” period is usually a specific year-long period. In California this is often the period between January 1 and December 31 of the prior year.

It is not uncommon for employment-related disputes to arise over the topic of unemployment. There are unscrupulous employers out there who do not follow the law when it comes to termination of employees; likewise, a person may be unfairly rejected for benefits even if they qualify. The entire process can be confusing as well as extremely stressful for the former employees looking for work. A San Diego employment law attorney may be able to help.

Source: State of California Employment Development Department, “Meeting eligibility requirements,” accessed Dec. 26, 2016


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