Unemployment benefits can be lifelines for people who need to pay rent, cover basic needs, and support their families while they look for new job opportunities. This makes filing for benefits with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) critical. Still, it is easy to make errors that result in a loss of benefits or delayed payments. Prevent these issues by learning the top mistakes to avoid when filing for unemployment benefits.
Providing Inaccurate Information
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is providing inaccurate or incomplete information when filing for benefits. Giving false information, even unintentionally, could result in the denial of your claim or an overpayment, which you must repay with an additional 30 percent. Take the time to complete the application accurately, and double-check all the information before submitting your application.
Not Determining Your Eligibility
Another mistake to avoid when filing for unemployment benefits is not determining your eligibility for benefits. You must meet specific requirements to qualify for California unemployment benefits. For example, if your employer sent you a W-2 and you had a full-time or part-time job but left due to a layoff, furlough, or reduced hours, you will likely qualify for unemployment benefits. Review the EDD’s requirements to avoid any disappointments.
You must be aware of the deadlines in the unemployment benefits process. For example, you must file your claim within the first week of unemployment. Additionally, each week you claim benefits, you must certify that you’re available to meet with a representative and are actively seeking work. Certifying late may result in a phone interview or the EDD denying your benefits. Note the relevant deadlines, and submit your information on time to continue receiving unemployment benefits.
Mistaking a Denied Claim as Final
A common misconception many applicants have is that a denied claim means they are completely ineligible for benefits. Even if the EDD denied your application, it might be due to errors in your application or a misunderstanding.
Upon receiving a denial, don’t panic! Instead, review the reasons provided for the denial. If you believe there was an error, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal gives you a chance to present your case and provide additional information that may help you receive the benefits you deserve.
When appealing, seek the help of an experienced unemployment lawyer. Contact Pershing Square Law Firm if you think the EDD unfairly denied your unemployment benefits. Our unemployment attorneys will help you prepare your case and work with you to make the best decisions for your case.