Support for Workers

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Programs for Workers

The California Employee Development Department provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California.

Out of Work or Reduced Hours

Workers, whose employers have reduced their hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, may file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claim. The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so employees can collect unemployment benefits for the first week they are out of work. 

Sick or Quarantined

Employees, unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), may file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so employees can collect DI benefits for the first week they are out of work.


Those unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. This 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.

School Closures

If an employee has to miss work due to their child's school closure, they may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Eligibility considerations include whether they have no other care options and if they are unable to continue working their normal hours remotely. Employees may file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim and EDD representatives will decide whether the employee is eligible.

Self Employed

There are some available benefits, in the form of Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC), for individuals who are self employed. To be eligible, either the individual or an employer had to make contributions in the past 5 to 18 months. It is possible these contributions were made at a prior job, or if the individual was misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Visit the EDD's Self-Employed/Independent Contractor webpage to learn more.

Other Resources

Employment Opportunities 

If you have lost your job dues to the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking employment, please visit, a one-stop resource for individuals seeking employment.