Q: I understand that Congress is considering extending the current unemployment benefits. Can youth receive unemployment in California?
A: Yes, youth can receive unemployment insurance in California where there are no minimum age requirements, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements:
- They lost job through no fault of their own
- They earned enough money during a four-quarter base period:
- $1,300 in the highest quarter of their base period* [or]
- $900 in their highest quarter and
- Total base period earnings of 1.25x their high quarter earnings
- They must be able, available, and actively seeking work
*A base period is a specific 12-month term used to determine eligibility
It is also important to note that several youth may be eligible for unemployment insurance that previously were not. The categories of eligibility have been expanded to include the following types of workers impacted by the Coronavirus:
- Self-employed workers (earned income from own work rather than as an employee)
- Freelancers, e.g. baby-sitter, tutor, blogger, photographer, etc.
- Independent contractors e.g. Lyft/Uber driver, barber/hair stylist, gardener, personal trainer, etc.
- Part-time workers who had a reduction in hours
Weekly benefit amounts range from $40 to $450, and right now, those receiving unemployment get an additional $600 per week until the end of July. Congress is currently considering extending this additional benefit amount beyond July 31, 2020.
Apply for unemployment insurance HERE.
Read a fact sheet developed by the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative for step-by-step instructions to apply, and for other helpful information about applying for unemployment insurance.