The website was originally called and these were the original bloggers of the website.
It was originally created due to the fact that applying to unemployment is an extremely confusing and overwhelming process. We're here to provide you with information that is easy to navigate!
IATSE Local 600 - 1st AC
IATSE Local 80 - Art Director
Erica Chan is the creator of the Unofficial CA Unemployment Help page on Facebook. She started the group in March when she offered to help her film industry friends through the confusing process of California unemployment. Her friends asked her questions she did not know the answer to so she created a Facebook group to gather the collective knowledge of the internet to help each other. Her group has grown to over 50,000 members.
Erica understands not having money is stressful, but not knowing how to get help is even more frustrating. Not only is the EDD website confusing and convoluted, but the Facebook group buries good information deep within the comments. She created this website in hopes that finding information was easier.
Hi there! My name is Molly I bring with me over ten years of design for broadcast, film, live events, episodic television, and print, catering to the needs of many including major brands, networks, and large scale festivals. In every instance building and supporting a team to provide excellent creative services. I love being a part of my community and helping others.
IATSE Local 600 - 1st AC
Andrew Parrotte is a 1st Assistant Camera in Los Angeles. Working freelance means you are on and off unemployment throughout the year when between gigs. This made Andrew quite familiar with the UI process. Andrew joined the group once Erica created it and became an admin soon after.
Brand Development in the fashion industry and Photography Studio Management.
Sales Support Manager
When she's not helping others with their EDD claims she enjoys the beach and water with family and three dogs.
Lynn lives in Northern California right in the center of the fires. She is well versed in recouping what wages she can during fire seasons. With Covid-19 also affecting her children, she has several unique situations that she wants to help others avoid. I stumbled upon the Unofficial CA site and found so much information that helped me solve both the kids issues!
Written by: Erica Chan
Mid-March I had a one-day job cancel on me because WHO announced that it was a pandemic. Additionally, my next job that was supposed to be four weeks long also got postponed. I work in the film industry -- so being fluid and flexible with my schedule is a norm. Jobs drop -- it happens. But it was happening at such a high rate and to not just me... a lot of my friends had jobs cancel as well. The film industry opportunities were dying.
I knew it was time for me to reopen my claim and I knew a lot of friends were going to need assistance to navigate the confusing unemployment process. Soon enough, people asked me questions I didn't know the answer to. I felt really bad I couldn't help them out. So, I created the Facebook group on March 19, 2020.
My first post to the group said:
"Hey friends, not sure if this will pan out to be a good idea or not, but I saw a need for knowing the process of unemployment in CA and the EDD has a massive influx of calls so not a lot of people are getting any answers. Let’s help each other with our own experiences and collective knowledge so no one is left behind.
I really hope this can be a useful resource for lots of people. Share your knowledge if you have insights!"
Within two weeks, my jaw dropped when we hit 1,000 members.
Two weeks after that, it grew to 15,000 and by May 19, 2020 we had close to 37,000. And since charts are fun to look at, here is a growth chart from March 19, 2020 to July 30, 2020.
I bit off a lotttttttt more than I thought there was to chew.
The Facebook group eventually started becoming challenging because information kept getting lost. I got tired of repeating information to people when they could just search... except, even when I searched for my own post it was difficult to find!!! Some days I would get up to 50-60 private messages a day. All of it really overwhelmed me, so I created a website where I could easily send people without re-explaining everything. FAQcaui. I named it that because it entertains me when people try to say it out loud 😏 and I thought people would find enjoyment in it.
I've had a few people offer me money and Starbucks cards. I've never accepted a dime from any stranger. I've only accepted one offer and that was from a friend. Why? Because I felt really guilty about taking money from strangers who were struggling. Even with my friend who venmoed me... I kept contemplating with other people whether or not I should venmo it back.
Recently, I've had a lot of friends convinced me that my time, knowledge, and service is of value and I shouldn't feel bad for that. It grew from FAQcaui into Unemployment Gurus so that we can help even more people. Not only can we pay people who have been serving the people who have been offering this service for free for 8 months, but we can help people even more so.
Through this company we can help represent people in their appeals or speak to EDD on people's behalf to make sure their claims are done correctly. Additionally, we are putting aside a percentage of the revenue that we receive into a fund that we can disburse back to the people. Like our mission states, we're here to help.
Thank you for listening to my story. :) I will continue to do my best to have quality up to date information on here for you.