A year ago, people were beginning to get laid off. Claim years only last a year, so the most frequently asked question is: do I need to reapply for unemployment? The answer is ultimately yes, but there are a lot of "but" situations of what's to come after you apply.
Before we get into that -- how do you know if you need to re-apply? Think about when you started your claim... if it was March 2020, you have to reapply March 2021. Claims only last one year.
This article is primarily for those who are on regular UI. Those who are on PUA have 86 weeks of the PUA program or it will end September 6, 2021. If any PUA applicants do end up qualifying for a regular UI claim (due to new W2 wages), you are supposed to have switched to regular UI. Otherwise - if you are currently on PUA and never had w2 wages in 2020, the majority of this article does not pertain to you.
I also want to point out that MANY PEOPLE have reported that they have been able to continue certifying on their extension DESPITE their claim year to have ended. A lot of what this article is based on is what information has been provided by the bill, EDD, or guidance from the US Department of Labor.
Question 1: did you make enough wages to qualify for a new claim?
The first question to ask is whether or not you have enough wages to qualify for a new claim.
For example, assuming most people applied in March 2020... that means if you reapply for a new claim in March 2021, they will be looking at these quarters:
October 2019 - December 2019
January 2020 - March 2020
April 2020 - June 2020
July 2020 - September 2020
October 2020 - December 2020
NOTE: If your claim ends at a later time, this is NOT your base period and you can use our base period calculator to figure it out. Otherwise here is an article to manually find what your base period is.
So -- did you make any wages during those quarters? If so, you could qualify for a new claim. If you made more than 1300 in any quarter you definitely qualify for a new claim. If you want the details of whether or not you qualify monetarily, check out this fact sheet.
Now for the "but" situations.
But situation #1: You need to apply for a new claim BUT...
...you qualify for a new claim and your NEW weekly benefit amount is reduced by $25 or more, you could qualify for the Deferred New Claim Payment (DNCP) program.
For example, lets say your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) was at $450, but you qualified for a claim at $425, you could potentially qualify for the DNCP.
I have to point out the key words here though. They say "we MIGHT continue paying benefits on your PEUC extension". MIGHT.
But situation #2: You need to apply for a new claim BUT...
... you definitely do not have enough wages to qualify for a new claim, because real talk, who worked in 2020?
I guess some people were lucky enough to find work, but for those who were not, 2020 wages to establish a claim are pretty low. If that's you, that's okay. The next question is -- did you use up all your extensions?
13 week PEUC extension
11 week PEUC extension (from Continued Assistance Act)
29 week PEUC extension (from American Rescue Plan)
There are two PEUC extensions I'm referring to. If you started your claim in March 2020 and absolutely did not work this entire time, more than likely you have already used up the first 13 week PEUC extension. If you HAVE NOT used up all extensions, it's likely they will put you back on PEUC to use the rest of the weeks if you had not already.
NOTE: You will get a notice that says you have a 0 award notice, but will later receive the PEUC extension has been automatically filed
Every quarter UI will probably check if you can qualify for a new claim because CA law says EDD has to process anyone who can qualify for UI claim before they are put on PUA. If your extensions are all ran out, you don't have enough wages to qualify for a new claim... then your next step will be to be put on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which starts at $167/week and yes, you qualify for the additional federal assistance if you get paid out at least $1 as long as the stimulus program is still in effect.
But situation #3: You need to apply for a new claim BUT...
... you don't have enough wages and you have used up all of your extensions. Though it is unlikely this will happen that you have used up all your extensions due to the new stimulus, if there is someone who has used it all up the next thing would be PUA.
Those who do not qualify for regular UI will go on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA program starts at $167/week and yes, you qualify for the additional federal assistance if you get paid out at least $1 as long as the stimulus program is still in effect.
Other extension questions
The reason why I am currently on PEUC is because they already denied my application for a new claim... do I still need to reapply again?
It's likely that EDD will review whether or not you have enough wages to qualify each quarter. Use up your extension and if you continue to not have enough wages each quarter - they will either keep you on extensions or put you on PUA.
My claim DID NOT expire but I ran out of all my extensions
This means that you are no longer eligible for regular UI... which means you qualify to be on PUA. Your claim will switch to PUA. If at any point you end up being eligible for a new claim, you have to return to regular Unemployment Insurance.
EDD has stated that they are returning to phone interviews to reviewing eligibility, which could be why you're pending.
You could also have "pending" if you recently exhausted your claim and your claim is processing a new extension to replenish your balance.
If you were hit with overpayments, the second stimulus, Continued Assistance Act (CAA) had a Department of Labor Guidance that put out verbiage that did say if any overpayments "would be contrary to equity and good conscience" it could be waived. Translation: if having to pay back EDD causes you hardship, it can be waived.
New article on the third stimulus: American Rescue Plan
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