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Unemployment Insurance Hearings in California

The Employment Development Department or EDD is one of California’s departments that focus on employment in the state. This state agency, which is under the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), has been in existence for over 70 years, effectively building California’s economy by doing its various roles for both employers and employees. EDD is mainly responsible for keeping the various employment programs in the state up and running, which include unemployment and disability insurance, paid family leave programs, as well as programs that focus on training individuals. It also does research with regard to the overall economy of California through data gathering and interpretation. Also known as the largest tax collection agency in the state, it ensures the auditing and the collection of payroll taxes of over 16 million workers.

One of the top programs that the EDD handles is its unemployment insurance program or UI. Following the regulations stipulated in the UI Code and California’s Code of Regulations, Title 22, the program allows qualified individuals who have been unemployed but are actively searching for jobs to obtain partial wage replacement. Payments are given to them so long as they meet the requirements. Like any other programs, the UI program of the EDD starts with individuals filing for claims, which the EDD evaluates to check whether or not they’re eligible to receive payments and other benefits under the program.

Meanwhile, a person who is out of work or unemployed may be qualified for UI benefits given that they meet the following requirements:

  • He or she has received enough wages during the base period.
  • His or her unemployment is either partial or total.
  • He or she is unemployed due to reasons that are not his or her fault.
  • He or she is physically ready and available to accept work at the soonest possible time
  • He or she is able to meet the requirements every week he or she receives benefits under the UI program.
  • He or she is approved to undergo training before he or she is paid training benefits.

Once the unemployed individual files his or her claims with the EDD, his or her former employer will provide the state agency with enough information with regards his or her wages. That way, the EDD could see if the person received enough wages for his or her UI claim to be approved. However, if he or she was determined to be not eligible for benefits but believes he or she is entitled to it, then he or she can file an appeal with the EDD.

Basically, the appeal is reviewed, and when the decision of the EDD is found to be correct in accordance with California laws and regulations, then it will send the appellant a notice of appeal, allowing him or her to attend to a hearing. Unemployment insurance hearings often start with the EDD’s Office of Appeals providing individuals filing for appeals with notices of their hearing schedules and locations and other pertinent information with regard to the process of the appeals. Unemployment insurance hearings in California are presided over by administrative law judges (ALJs) who will decide on whether the EDD’s decision stands or the appellants truly deserve to receive payment and benefits.

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