What to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted california?

What to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted california?

Unemployment is a harsh reality that many people face at some point in their lives. It can be a stressful and uncertain time, especially when unemployment benefits are exhausted. In California, the unemployment rate reached a record high of 16.4% in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the unemployment rate has since decreased, many Californians are still struggling to find work and support themselves and their families. In this article, we will discuss what to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted in California and provide valuable insights and resources to help individuals navigate this challenging situation.

Understanding Unemployment Benefits in California

Before we dive into what to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted, it is essential to understand the unemployment benefits system in California. Unemployment benefits are provided by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and are designed to provide temporary financial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These benefits are funded by employers through payroll taxes and are meant to help individuals meet their basic needs while they search for new employment.

In California, unemployment benefits are typically available for up to 26 weeks. However, during times of high unemployment, the federal government may extend these benefits through programs like the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). These programs were created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and have provided additional weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

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What to Do When Unemployment Benefits Are Exhausted

When unemployment benefits are exhausted, it can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. However, there are steps that individuals can take to navigate this situation and find support. Here are some things to consider:

  • Apply for an Extension: As mentioned earlier, the federal government has implemented programs to provide additional weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. If you have not already done so, you can apply for an extension through the EDD website or by calling their toll-free number. It is essential to note that these extensions are not automatic, and you must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify.
  • Explore Other Government Assistance Programs: In addition to unemployment benefits, there are other government assistance programs available in California that can help individuals in need. These include programs like CalFresh (food stamps), Medi-Cal (health insurance), and CalWORKs (cash assistance). You can find more information about these programs and how to apply on the California Department of Social Services website.
  • Consider Part-Time or Temporary Work: While searching for a full-time job, consider taking on part-time or temporary work to help make ends meet. This can also help you gain new skills and experience that can make you more marketable to potential employers.
  • Update Your Resume and Network: Use this time to update your resume and reach out to your network for job leads and referrals. Networking is a powerful tool in the job search process, and you never know who may be able to connect you with a potential job opportunity.
  • Seek Out Job Training and Education Programs: If you are having trouble finding work in your current field, consider enrolling in job training or education programs to gain new skills and make yourself more competitive in the job market. The EDD offers a variety of training and education programs, and you can also explore options through community colleges and vocational schools.

Resources for Individuals in California

There are also several resources available specifically for individuals in California who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. These resources can provide additional support and guidance during this challenging time. Here are a few to consider:

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  • California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB): If you have been denied an extension or other unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. The CUIAB is an independent administrative court that handles unemployment insurance appeals in California. You can find more information about the appeals process on their website.
  • California Employment Development Department (EDD) Workforce Services: The EDD offers a variety of workforce services to help individuals find employment, including job search assistance, resume workshops, and career counseling. These services are available at no cost and can be accessed through the EDD website or by visiting a local America’s Job Center of California.
  • California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA): The LWDA provides resources and information for workers in California, including information on labor laws, workplace safety, and job training programs. They also have a list of resources specifically for individuals who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.
  • 211 California: 211 is a free and confidential service that connects individuals with local resources and services. You can call 211 or visit their website to find resources for food, housing, healthcare, and more.

Case Study: The Impact of Exhausted Unemployment Benefits

To better understand the impact of exhausted unemployment benefits, let’s take a look at a real-life example. Meet Sarah, a single mother of two who lost her job as a restaurant server due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah received unemployment benefits for 26 weeks, but when her benefits were exhausted, she struggled to find work in the restaurant industry. She applied for an extension, but unfortunately, she did not meet the eligibility requirements. Sarah was left with no choice but to turn to government assistance programs to support her family.

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Through CalFresh, Sarah was able to receive food stamps to help feed her family. She also enrolled in a job training program through the EDD and was able to gain new skills in the healthcare industry. With her new skills and experience, Sarah was able to find a job as a medical assistant, and she is now able to support her family without relying on government assistance.

Sarah’s story is just one example of how individuals can overcome the challenges of exhausted unemployment benefits and find success. It takes determination, resilience, and utilizing available resources to make it through this difficult time.

The Importance of Mental Health

Unemployment can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. The stress and uncertainty of not having a job and struggling to make ends meet can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It is essential to prioritize your mental health during this time and seek support if needed.

The EDD offers a variety of resources for individuals struggling with mental health issues, including counseling services and support groups. You can also reach out to local mental health organizations for additional support and resources.


Exhausted unemployment benefits can be a challenging and uncertain time, but it is essential to remember that there is support available. By applying for an extension, exploring other government assistance programs, and taking advantage of resources and training programs, individuals can navigate this situation and find success. It is also crucial to prioritize mental health and seek support if needed. Remember, this is a temporary setback, and with determination and resilience, you can overcome it and find new opportunities for growth and success.

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