Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on unemployment benefits in the coronavirus response legislation passed by the Senate last night:

“With unemployment claims spiking to levels not seen since the Great Depression, the bill passed last night by the Senate will help keep money in the pockets of workers laid off or furloughed.

“This bill is particularly beneficial to Californians because it includes self-employed, part-time and gig economy workers who normally wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment benefits.

“With more than 1 million Californians now without a job because of this pandemic, it’s important that we take care of everyone out of work during these difficult times. I hope the House quickly passes this bill and the president signs it so people who need these new benefits will receive them as soon as possible.”


New unemployment provisions:

  • Paycheck replacement: $600 per week increase above normal benefits for four months. That allows coverage for average Americans equal to their paychecks during the pandemic.
  • Waiving waiting periods: Encourages states to eliminate all waiting periods before individuals can receive benefits.
  • Extension of benefits: Automatically adds an additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance to state coverage.
  • Includes more workers: Allows part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers to access unemployment insurance.

How to apply for unemployment insurance:

Californians can apply for unemployment benefits through the California Employment Development Department.

The best way to begin the process is by going online and clicking HERE. Claims can be filed online Sunday 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 2 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 2 am to 8 p.m.