California Unemployment Insurance

California Unemployment Insurance

Policies at California EDD are rapidly shifting to meet the immense need that has emerged since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We will do our best to update this guide with the latest information. This guide was last updated on March 24, 2021. Check for the most recent updates. 

Key Contact Information for the EDD

Phone numbers: 

  • To speak with an EDD representative about your claim, call 1-800-300-5616 (English) 1-800-326-8937 (Spanish) Hours: 8 am 8pm, 7 days a week.
    • Hold times can vary greatly. Call as early in the day as you can, and call often. 
    • Sometimes, wait times on the English language line are shorter than they are on the Spanish language line. If you have someone in your household who can translate English-Spanish for you, try calling the English line with their assistance.
  • For technical support, password reset, UI Online questions, general information and EDD account number, please call 1-833-978-2511.  Hours: 8 am-8 pm, 7 days a week. 
    • Sometimes the technical support staff can help you with a substantive issue with your EDD claim. If you are having difficulty getting through on the main application support line, it might be worth trying to call tech support. 
  • To get information on your last payment issued; certify for benefits; get information on how to file a new UI claim, reopen an existing claim, or submit a new claim when your benefit year ends,  call the self service line at 1-866-333-4606. Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • And if you lost your EDD Bank of America Card or want to know if one has been issued to you, call 1-866-692-9374. 

Internet, Mail, and Fax:

  • For questions about your claim, log into your UI Online account.  You will need your customer account number.  Once you have logged in, navigate to “Contact Us” and submit your question.
  • Contact the EDD with general questions through Ask EDD.
  • You can also fax documents to EDD: 1-866-215-9159. 

Still no response from EDD, despite multiple attempts to contact them? 


If your other attempts to troubleshoot have not succeeded, submit a comment, suggestion or complaint using the following complaint form:

Mail the printed form to EDD to the address below:

Unemployment Insurance
Employment Development Department
PO Box 826880 – UIPCD, MIC 40
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

If you are a UNITE HERE Local 11 member and need help submitting this form, contact your workplace representative or make an appointment with a volunteer if one is available at the links provided above.

Below is a template for how to fill out this form. In the description box (Question 5), you should include as much detail as possible about the problem you are trying to solve so that the person at EDD who reads the letter has all of the information that they need to help you. Some useful info could include: your full name, SSN, dates on which you submitted forms or attempted to contact EDD, and a description of any letters or communications you have received from EDD in the past. 


  • In some circumstances, especially for more complex problems, you might want to write a letter to EDD instead of submitting a complaint form so that you can more fully explain the details of your case. Mail or fax the printed letter to EDD with copies of any relevant supporting documents attached.

We have developed some template letters to address common problems that UNITE HERE members have faced over the past few months, but we encourage you to adapt the language to your specific situation and provide as much detail as possible regarding your claim and attempts to contact EDD.  The EDD’s fax number is 866.215.9159

  • Click here to download a Template Letter form and access other resources.  

Applying or Re-Applying for Unemployment Benefits

You will need the following information:

  1. Email address
  2. Exact of your last workplace
  3. Immigration card number
  4. Social Security card (exact name and number)
  5. Driver’s License number or California ID number
  6. The name of your last supervisor

Unemployment in Arizona

Arizona Unemployment Insurance

You can apply from the Arizona Department of Economic Security Website. If you need help, please call the hotline at (480) 795-5330 EXT 242.

What you need to have when you apply:

  • Your Social Security Number.
  • AZ Driver’s License or AZ State Issued ID (Note: you may still complete your application without these two items).
  • Your mailing address, city, state and ZIP code.
  • If you live in Arizona, know the county where you reside.
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your employers for the last 18 months.
  • The last day you worked immediately prior to filing your UI claim.
  • If you received severance, vacation, holiday or payment for unused sick pay: give the amount (before deductions) and the date it was paid to you.
  • Alien Registration Number, if applicable.
  • Copy # 4 of your DD Form 214 if released from the military in the last 18 months
  • If you are collecting a pension (other than Social Security), you will need the start date of the pension and the monthly benefit amount.

You should NOT mark that you have been “discharged,” which means “fired,” because it will take much longer to process (3-4 weeks).  You should mark that you have been “laid off,” or have a “lack of hours.”

The process is very streamlined. There’s a helpful video on the front page. If you are struggling with it, call the hotline at 480-795-5330 EXT 242 so someone can walk you through it.