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W2/PUA: How do I backdate?

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

What does retroactive payments mean?

Payments will be made, going back to a certain date.

Does retroactive payments start from when you file?

  • W2: Your benefits are typically based on your filing date. Due to the pandemic, they will consider what you put for your last date of employment as a date to backdate your claim. Once approved, you should be receiving retro payments from the day you were unemployed. See EDD's FAQ here.

  • PUA: Payments will backdated up to February 2, 2020 if you can prove that you are unemployed due to COVID-19. Make sure to put in your last day of employment. Detailed explanation of how much in EDD's FAQ's here.

IMPORTANT NOTE for W2 claimants: If you filed in April and you want to backdate to March, please understand by doing so your benefit amount can CHANGE. See which period they will base your benefit on by reading this EDD fact sheet.

For PUA claimants: They calculate your benefit amount based on your 2019 taxes and divide by four. So if you backdate, your benefit amount should not change. Backdating will be easier for PUA claimants.

I've heard that UI benefits are only counted beginning on the day after I apply. If I've been unemployed since March, and I apply for unemployment benefits in April, can I get UI benefits back to the period since I became unemployed?

  • When you apply for benefits on online, list the actual date of unemployment that directly resulted from COVID-19. The EDD will assess your eligibility for regular UI and PUA. If you qualify for PUA, your claim will begin effective the week when you became unemployed. If you apply for regular UI benefits and your date does not backdate, you will need to contact the EDD to request that the effective date for your claim be changed to the week when you became unemployed. In addition, the $600 per week in additional unemployment benefits that is available from March 29 through July 25, 2020, is also available even if you apply after March 29.

How do I request a backdate?

  • The fastest and most painful way is to call to speak to someone to adjust your claim. The 800# is best in trying to reach someone who can directly adjust your claim. Phone tips here

  • You can cross out and write what needs to be corrected on your Notice of Award letter and send it back to the address listed on there

  • The third way is to email via


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Tools & Resources:

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