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Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

Unemployment Insurance Claims | Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: April 2, 2020

Filing a Claim

  • How does an employee file an unemployment insurance (UI) claim?
  • Employees have a right to file a claim anytime they experience a loss of pay whether it is due to a loss of the job or loss of wages due to reduced hours.  Employees do not need approval from their supervisor or department in order to file a claim. EDD does not require that employees who are still employed exhaust their leave balances in order to file a claim or be considered for benefits.

    The following webpage offers information and filing instructions:                
    https://hr.ucdavis.edu/departments/elr/un-e-insurance

    Employees may file a claim at: www.edd.ca.gov
  • How should I advise any employees I supervise if they are eligible?
  • It is recommended that supervisors refrain from advising employees on the likelihood of eligibility and from commenting on the employee’s decision to file a claim.

    Employees should be directed to the following webpage for information and filing instructions.
    https://hr.ucdavis.edu/departments/elr/un-e-insurance        

    Employees may file a claim at: www.edd.ca.gov
  • Who administers the claims process?
  • Claims for UC Davis employees are administered centrally at the UC Path Center.  Responses to the UC Path center are coordinated by the UC Davis UI Point of Contact.  UC Davis Supervisors will be contacted by the UC Davis UI Point of Contact to respond to information requests related to the claims.  Claimants will interact solely with EDD from claim, through to determination, and benefits.

 

Eligibility for Benefits

  • Who may be eligible for unemployment benefits?
  • Any employee who incurs lost wages due to loss of their job, or who is still working but has a loss of wages due to reduction in hours and is now on Leave With Out Pay, may be eligible.
  • Who makes the determination of who is granted benefits?
  • The State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) determines who is eligible for benefits. The University responds to inquiries from EDD related to the status of the employment and related issues to the loss of pay.  The University only disputes claims that are due to employee misconduct or poor performance.
  • Why is the turn-around time for response so short?
  • Neither the UC Path Center nor UC Davis sets the deadlines for claims response.  EDD’s claims volume has been highly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. They are expediting claims determinations in an   attempt to get fast relief to eligible workers.  Delayed response on the University’s part could result in denial of benefits for an eligible worker causing them to have to appeal.  We appreciate your timely responses!

Information Requests to Supervisors

These are the examples of questions asked by EDD on UI Claim Information Requests.
(Tips for responding are in italics below each item)

  • What is the latest date the employee physically reported for work?
    (This includes working remotely)
     
  • Did the employee place restrictions on the hours they are willing to work and were these restrictions agreed to at hire?
    (Along with any restrictions comment here on the nature of the employment: full or part time, per diem, variable, contract, etc.)
     
  • Have the employee’s hours been reduced?  If their hours change, what is the frequency of changes in the employee’s hours?
    (Explain any reduction in hours or comment on the nature of how hours are usually assigned and to what factors to which this is subject)
     
  • During the status of campus suspended operation due to COVID-19, is the claimant still getting paid while working remotely,  experiencing a reduction in pay (due to reduction of hours), or on an unpaid/paid administrative leave?
    (Sample response:  During the COVID-19 campus suspension, the employee will have no work to perform remotely.  The University has granted 128 hours of paid administrative leave to be used if an employee has the virus and cannot work, or has a family member with the virus and employee cannot work as they have to care for them, if employee has child care issues related to COVID school closure, or if it is not feasible for them to do work remotely.  The 128 hours is pro-rated to FTE, so this ____% employee will receive ____ hours that they can use.  The employee has applied ___ hours to pay period(s)__________(dates))

For claims related to job loss, questions will address the reasons for dismissal.  Inquiries may include questions about misconduct and poor performance.  They will ask for details about the final incident, ask for separation documents, and inquire about policies violated, etc.