Workers impacted by COVID-19 can get EDD relief

Workers impacted by COVID-19 can get EDD relief
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is providing a variety of support services to workers impacted by the virus and who qualify for benefits. (Photo credit: California Employment Development Department)

By Kathy Chouteau

Richmond workers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might be able to get some financial relief. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is providing a variety of support services to workers impacted by the virus and who qualify for benefits. Here’s the lowdown from the EDD:

Workers who have had their hours reduced—or whose employer is currently not operating due to COVID-19, can file an unemployment insurance claim. Per the EDD on its website, unemployment insurance “provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.” Workers waylaid due to the impact of COVID-19 don’t have to seek work during this period, but they do have to “remain able, available and ready to work” and meet eligibility criteria while claiming benefits. Typical benefits received range from $40 to $450 per week, per the EDD. Independent workers can learn more about their options here.

Parents who miss work due to their child’s school being closed might also be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. “Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely,” per the EDD. Apply via the previous unemployment insurance claim link.

California workers who can’t work and who are medically certified to either have COVID-19 themselves or to have been exposed to it can file a disability insurance claim. This option provides workers with short-term benefit payments “to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy,” per the EDD. Benefit amounts typically are about 60 to 70 percent of a worker’s wages (depending on income) and range from $50 to $1,300 a week.

Those workers unable to work due to caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19—that can be verified by a medical professional—can file a paid family leave claim. This benefit “provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child,” per the EDD. Benefit amounts are about the same as those filing a disability claim.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order has waived the typical one-week waiting period for benefits; this means that workers can receive benefits the first week they are out of work. EDD processing typically kicks in within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

To learn more about your benefit options while impacted by COVID-19, visit the EDD’s website.


  1. I keep seeing reports like this however when you call Edd…it says SORRY WE HAVE TO MANY CALLS GOODBYE! and then it hangs up on you … On their website….there is NO OPTION ABOUT GOV not letting you work your choices are fired, layed off, seasonal , quit, strike/locked out… Then after you get through the 2 hours of impossible to read and fill out at the same time forms… its like someday you’ll get a call and you better answer …but doesent tell you when or when you might get money or how much….all of this about government waving is BS….
    THE media need to STOP saying these things cause NONE of it is true…

  2. This is so wrong…..if Mean Colleen is telling the truth! God help us…..God says that everything that’s going on in this world was going to happen, in the KJV Holy Bible New Testament. Jesus Christ I’m on your battlefield fighting the demons of this world, hopefully humans who do not know the Bible can read it to know how to have eternal life. May everybody be healed mind, body & soul during this coronavirus outbreak…..I pray for a cure all around the world for every human being…..In Jesus Christ Holy name….Amen.

  3. I agree with Karen, we here all the time “we are here to help”, but whe you try to contact them you have no chance to talk to anyone. I used to work in customer service and if we did not answer the phones we got written up, EDD never answered, got and email from them saying that my address was changed and to contact them if I did make the change we’ll it has been two weeks calling them and still have not been able to speak with an EDD employee.

  4. I had a disqualification in 12-2019 that I didn’t bother to appeal because it was for such a small amount of money As a result the disqualification is on my record and the web page will not allow me to open a claim now. I was laid off from my restaurant job due to the Corona virus pandemic. I have tried calling everyday and have submitted questions concerning this matter for the laqst 9 days and I have not been able to get through or get any answers to my questions. Does anyone out there have any suggestions or answers for me ?


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