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Can Students Receive Unemployment in California?

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In California, unemployed workers may collect unemployment insurance benefits, but there are conditions. You must meet the minimum eligibility requirements, submit a weekly claim form and be available for suitable work. Unemployment insurance benefits do not last forever. However, after you exhaust your regular benefits, you may qualify for a federal extension of benefits.


In California, you may attend school and still collect unemployment insurance benefits. However, you must actively seek work during each week benefits are claimed. The unemployment department determines eligibility and requires you to submit a weekly work search log. Submit the work search log with your weekly claim form.

California Training Benefits Program

The California Training Benefits Program allows qualified individuals to continue to receive benefits while in approved training, according to the California Employment Development Department. During your period of approved training, you must look for work, be available for work and accept suitable work. If you exhaust your regular benefits, you may qualify for an extension of UI benefits called a Training Extension claim.

Claim Form

To file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, submit an eApply4UI application by visiting or submit an application over the phone by calling 866-333-4606. A paper application, DE 1101I, is also available. Once approved for benefits, submit your weekly claim form. Each form must contain a signature and signing date along with your work search log.


Depending on the earnings you made during your base period, you may receive a minimum of $40 to a maximum of $450 a week up to 26 weeks. Your base period is a 12-month period that includes at least four of the last five complete quarters of the calendar year prior to your date of employment. In total, you may receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.


Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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