Tips for accessing unemployment benefits

Monday, May 11, 2020



From 46th District Reps. Javier Valdez and Gerry Pollet


The state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) is experiencing historically high volumes of people desperately applying for unemployment benefits. ESD is working hard to improve capacity and update technology, but their web pages are loading slowly, and call wait times are long. Here are some tips for minimizing delays and successfully applying for benefits.

First, be assured that everyone who is eligible will get their money. It is not going to run out, and it will be paid retroactive to the date of eligibility.

Prepare: Carefully read the instructions,watch ESD’s training videos, and use ESD’s checklist to help gather all the necessary documents to avoid delays.

Try the website first: If you have a problem that can only be solved over the phone, please keep trying. Thousands of people are getting through to ESD by phone every day.

Timing: Apply during off-peak hours, generally 9:00pm to 7:00am. Use a laptop or desktop if you can, and only try reloading twice in 10 minutes. If you don’t get through after that, wait two hours before trying again.

Keep in touch: Subscribe to receive email updates from ESD about their COVID-19 response.

Find answers to frequently asked questions here. 



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