$0.00 claim balance / benefit
Updated: Jul 26
Answer in EDD FAQ here.
My claim balance and weekly benefit amount is $0.00. Did I do something wrong?
1) #1 reason - If you haven't waited at least 2-3 weeks from filing, it could be simply processing. With UI flooded with requests, they will take about that long, if not longer.
2) If you recently made adjustments to your claim (backdated, etc) this is normal. You still need to wait 2-3 weeks for your claim to be adjusted and processed. EDD is slow.
3) Your identity could not be verified. Many people are experiencing this issue and have also been waiting 7+ weeks on nothing.
Identity verification could be caused by: employer incorrect spelling of your last name, wrong social security number, wrong birthdate, etc.
Anything that doesn't match can get a red flag to then be looked at by a human before processing. This is to keep everything properly accounted for. It's for your safety as much as it's for theirs. Identity theft is a real issue.
You'll be mailed a request to verify your identity. You have 10 calendar days from the mailed date to send two forms of identity documents from this list of Acceptable Documents for Identity Verification (DE 1326CD) (PDF). Once verified, you'll get a notice of what the wage records show for weekly UI benefit payments if you meet all other eligibility requirements.
4) Answering certification questions that disqualifies you
See certifying for weeks on how EDD qualifies you as eligible
5) You were misclassified by your employer as an independent contractor instead of an employee or your wage information may have been inadvertently transposed when your employer reported your information to the EDD.
If you believe the record of your wages isn’t accurate, correct the wages on the award notice and send copies of your W-2, Form 1099, or a paycheck stub to the address on the front of the notice. They'll follow up with you and your employer for any details if needed.
6) You are self-employed or an independent contractor
Self-employment, 1099 does not pay contributions to state Unemployment Trust Fund, therefore why your balance can be 0.00
BUT -- as part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are usually not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits and are unemployed or not providing services due to reasons directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including business owners, the self-employed or those with limited recent work history.
If you applied prior to 4/28 you have to reapply for it to be considered for PUA. If you applied after, you're good to go
Click here for a PUA guide on applying
7) If you did not earn enough W2 wages
If your highest quarterly earnings were less than $900, it’s possibly your benefit is $0.00. When calculating your highest quarterly earning it should be all of your W2 + any misclassified 1099 work. Proper 1099 will not contribute to your UI benefits.
For calculations this is how they base it on: https://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de8714ab.pdf
To calculate yourself use this: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI-Calculator.htm
If you are W2, have waited 2-3 weeks, and STILL have 0.00 on your claim -- please call EDD. Here is the article for phone tips.