General Question

pleiades's avatar

How long does the California unemployment insurance benefit last?

Asked by pleiades (6571points) July 1st, 2014

I’m reading a lot of articles claiming it’s 26 weeks but some are also saying after 2008 there were extensions handed out I’m really just all over the place with finding the correct info. Also, I called them but it was hard to understand the woman’s English.

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8 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It looks like 26 weeks was the standard and they added a 13 week extension at some point. But the CA Labor Dept website sucks so bad I couldn’t figure out when that applies. I thought our state was bad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They dropped the automatic extensions just two weeks before my unemployment ran out last December. However, I later realized that if I had enrolled as a student in college, they would have extended it.

@pleiades Call ‘em back. Eventually you’ll get a hold of an English speaker.

GloPro's avatar

Don’t get me started. It’s the most poorly managed government agency in the entire state.
Call, and call, and call, until you get ahold of someone. You have to call before 12:30 M-F, as they only answer phones for 4 hours a day. Expect them to tell you the computer system just crashed, so they cannot promise you that anything you have said or they have told you will be recorded in the system or acted upon. If you cannot understand them definitely ask to speak to a different agent and don’t be shy about why. Expect to be disconnected.

Seriously, it was the biggest headache of my life. It isn’t entirely true that they grant extensions if you enroll in school. You have to interview and be accepted, and they will call your teachers, which is embarrassing and imposing on your teachers. Request that interview AT LEAST a month before your benefits run out, and expect a lapse in payments if you do not, as they won’t interview you for a month after you request it and won’t issue a decision for a couple of weeks after. If you call, no one will have any idea what is going on with your account.

Yes, it’s 26 weeks. It’s a pain in the ass, and I’m so happy I got a job about 16 weeks in.


Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it wasn’t that bad for me. It was a walk in the park, actually.

GloPro's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanks for rubbing it in. Now I hate them more because clearly it was personal. They suck.

The day of my initial interview the guy called, talks to me for 15 minutes or so. Two hours later THE SAME GUY called me back and did the exact same interview again. At no point did he realize he had spoken to me earlier. I finally pointed it out to him (so many folks in California have southern accents and live in Lake Tahoe), his response was “Oh, yeah, you’re right! Silly me. I had written your interview time in twice.”

My experience didn’t get any better from there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. I’m sorry. Actually, I called them initially, and they suggested I mail them my version of events before the interview. I spent two days typing, then shipped off 22 pages.

The day of my interview the interviewer called and said, “Well, your notes here explain your side very well, and your company isn’t contesting it at all, so you’re good to go.”

Does that make you feel any better??!! :D )

GloPro's avatar

Haha, well, yes. Two days of your life eaten by bureaucratics. I hope your fingers were sore.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually, I already had most of it written as a cathartic rant. I just cleaned it up and removed some cuss words! I also sent attachments, etc.

I spent 3 HOURS on the phone with the IRS the other day. There has got to be a better way.

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