California is working to support people financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and keep them safe. Learn what benefits you qualify for and how to apply for them. See this chart of benefits available for workers.

Unemployment Insurance

If you lost your job or had your hours reduced, and meet eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD).

Guide to applying for unemployment benefits

The state has removed waiting periods for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Check EDD’s programs and benefits for workers affected by COVID-19 for the latest news.

Help for self-employed and independent contractors

On April 28, the state rolled out a new program to help unemployed or partially unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, and others who are financially impacted by the pandemic. This is a federally funded program called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA benefits are available if you don’t qualify for regular UI benefits in California or another state, and also don’t qualify for State Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits. PUA benefits will be issued within 24-48 hours, not the traditional 21 days ​for regular UI claims.

More benefits for workers receiving UI or PUA

California workers who receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits between March 29 and July 25, 2020 will get $600 per week added automatically to their benefits through the federal CARES Act.

If you’ve used all of your available Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, an additional 13 weeks of benefits may be available through the federally funded Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). If you’ve used all your PEUC benefits, an additional 20 weeks of benefits may be available through the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) benefits program.

Workers who received unemployment benefits between July 26 and August 15, 2020 may get $300 per week added to their benefits through the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. This includes regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or FED-ED extensions. The payments are for weeks of unemployment beginning July 26, 2020, and will be available for a limited period of time.

Find more detailed information in EDD’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs.

Keeping workplaces safe

Workers with COVID-19 infection

If you are employed and have COVID-19, you should stay home. There are options available if you can’t work because you or someone you are caring for is sick or quarantined. 

Worker rights and safety

Support for working parents

  • Check support for working families (PDF) for information to help you locate child care, find assistance to pay for child care, and connect you to additional supports for your family.
  • Visit the Childcare page to learn more about childcare options near you.

Temporary housing for essential workers

Hotel rooms for healthcare workers 

The Non-Congregate Sheltering (NCS) for California Healthcare Workers Program was created to keep healthcare workers safe and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It provides hotel rooms to healthcare workers who give critical care to COVID-19 patients so they don’t bring home the virus to their household. To find out program eligibility and how to reserve a room, visit Hotel rooms for California healthcare workers.

Hotel rooms for agricultural workers

The Housing for the Harvest program offers temporary housing to farm and food processing workers who need to isolate due to COVID-19. It helps exposed agricultural workers protect their loved ones by giving them a space to self-isolate.  

Visit Housing for agricultural workers to find out more information.

Questions and answers

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