COVID-19: Unemployment - UPDATE

Many have contacted my office to express their frustration with the State’s unemployment insurance program and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. As your Assemblymember, I want to be clear with you: I share your frustration.  

I am completely dissatisfied with the state of our unemployment program and how unprepared it is to serve in a crisis. It is unacceptable for individuals who have applied for benefits to still be waiting six weeks later. This week, I returned to State Capitol to help address these issues.

While millions of Californians have applied for unemployment and many have been served, there are more who have not and are without answers to important questions.

My office has compiled a list of the most frequently received questions, which I would like to share with you in the event it may provide some guidance.


Am I eligible for PUA?

If you are fully or partially unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are, a business owner, self-employed, an independent contractor, an individual with limited work history, an individual who has exhausted regular unemployment insurance, you can now apply for benefits under PUA.

How do I apply for PUA?

You can file your claim through UI Online, just as you would for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

I haven’t received my EDD Bank Card OR it shows my benefits have been paid, but I haven’t received anything. What should I do?

Call Bank of America at 1 (866) 692-9374.  When asked to enter your debit card number, enter 0#. If asked again, enter 0 twelve times to mimic the digits in a debit card followed by the “#” sign. If asked a third time, enter 0#. It should redirect you to a Bank of America representative who can look you up via your personal information. If an automated message says there are too many callers and disconnects, try again at a different time during the day.

I haven’t received my EDD Customer Account Number yet and I need it to log back into UI Online. What do I do?

There are two self-service options that EDD has provided for an applicant to request their EDD Customer Account Number (EDDCAN).

Go to Ask EDD and select the category Unemployment Insurance Benefits, the sub category UI Online, and the topic EDD Customer Account Number. Select Continue at the bottom of the page to begin the process of submitting your message.

The fastest way is to contact Technical Support at 1 (833) 978-2511. They are open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. They can assist if you need technical help with accessing UI Online, help with receiving an EDD Customer Account Number, and other general UI questions.

If neither of these options work for you, please contact my office.

How long will it take to receive PUA benefits?

If approved and after certifying, you may be able to receive your first PUA payment within approximately 2 days after being approved if you have an existing EDD debit card (and there are no issues that require a further review of eligibility), and within 4 to 7 days after being approved when new debit cards and checks are mailed.

I filed my claim almost 6 weeks ago and I haven’t received any correspondence from EDD. Is there anything you can do to help?

My office can contact EDD on your behalf and ask about the status of your claim. Give us a call at (619) 645-3090 or e-mail us at

I am unable to log in to my UI online, when I enter my EDD Customer Account Number, the following error message appears: "Your information does not match the records in our system. Check the information you have entered. You must have filed an Unemployment Insurance claim before registering for a UI Online account.”

Contact EDD technical support at 1 (833) 978-2511. It is open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. They can assist if you need technical help with accessing UI Online, help with receiving an EDD Customer Account Number, and other general UI questions.


Additionally, EDD shared more information regarding eligibility for the 13-week extension program. please see pages two and three of this press release.

My office remains committed to assisting you through the unemployment insurance process and getting you answers as best we can. We have re-directed more of my staff to assist with unemployment cases, but because of the volume of inquiries we are receiving, I would ask everyone to exercise patience as we work to respond to your case.

We can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (619) 645-3090.

Above all else, please stay healthy, stay safe, and stay strong.


Assemblymember, 78th District

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E-Alert Information
Send Date: 
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Subject line: 
COVID-19: Unemployment - UPDATE
District wide
E-Alert type: