I recently learned about the California Training Benefits Program, which allows UI recipients to attend school full time while still maintaining eligibility for Unemployment. NOTES: -> Even WITHOUT participating in the CTB Program, UI recipients CAN attend school while receiving UI benefits, as long as they indicate on Weekly Certification form that attending school will NOT interfere with their ability to accept full-time work.
-> By participating in the CA Training Benefits Program, however, a UI recipient can attend school full time WITHOUT having to meet the work availability requirement. If a UI recipient is approved for CTB, the CTB participant is eligible for a separate UI extension of up to 26 weeks beyond the regular UI period. I have found a fair amount of information about CTB online. There is a list of qualifying training and educational degree programs, and we also have the option of choosing a program that is not on EDD's list (at Accredited Institution) and submitting the program details to EDD for CTB approval. (It looks to be a broad and generous list of qualifiers.) To participate in CTB, we have 1) to inform EDD of our interest in the program; 2) apply for CTB qualification with one or multiple forms (which may come from EDD directly; I cannot find the forms online); and report the start date of our classes when we Certify for Benefits. Every reference I have found to the program indicates that we should mark the start date of our classes on the weekly certification form. Sometimes, just reporting the start date of classes signals EDD to contact us regarding our interest in the program. HOWEVER, after we enter Yes to the question did we "start or attend classes," I DO NOT KNOW whether to mark Yes or No as to whether our classes would interfere with our ability to accept full-time work. The reason for partipating in the program is that it allows UI recipients to go to school FULL TIME (which would preclude working full time) and still receive benefits.
I don't want my benefits to be cut off because I indicated on my Certify form that since I'm attending school, I cannot accept full-time work. I don't know how long approval for the CTB program takes, but it sounds like I would need to go to school full-time in order to qualify. According to EDD info, participants to qualify will be exempt from the requirement to look for or be available for full-time work (much like regular COVID UI), but with the caveat that if COVID payment runs out while we're in school, CTB will qualify us for Extended Benefits. BUT how do we handle reporting until we've been approved for the program? I'm doing a find-your-own-degree program (not on EDD's preapproved list) and submitting it to EDD for approval. So for me to qualify for CTB, they have to review my application and make a determination to approve my degree (and school) selection. Of course, I don't know how long that will take. So in the meantime, I have no idea what to mark on the form about accepting work. I didn't find anything online Covid-specific regarding the requirments either, except to "report the date you start classes." Can you guys help? Besides being a firm commitment, degree program costs about $1,700/month (which I've already started paying), so I certainly don't want my benefits cut off prematurely. Here are a couple of links I found regarding CTB, if this helps at all? Nothing about the application forms they reference, though; couldn't find those. https://frwdb.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CTB-Fact-Sheet-DE-8714U-1.pdf CTB Application Letter/Instructional Form
Thank you so much for your time and help! :) Jean Bowick