I will be happy to address your question -- however, please understand that I don't make the law, and I am not trying to make things difficult for you. Sometimes, where the law does not support your unique circumstances, the best that I can do is to explain what the law is or is not.
That said, dismissal and severance pay received by employees from employer upon termination of employment is not “wages” for unemployment compensation purposes within Unemployment Insurance Code provision that payments under plan established by employer for purpose of supplementing unemployment compensation benefit shall not be construed to be “wages." See UI Code, §§ 1251, 1252, 1265; Powell v. California Department of Employment (1965) 63 Cal.2d 103.
So, the severance is off the table -- you can't use it to support a new claim.
The bonus may be a different matter, but I see some associated risk for you.
UI Code § 926 specifically includes bonuses within the definition of wages. See Los Angeles Turf Club, Inc. v. Unemp. Ins. Appeals Board (1981) 117 Cal.App.3d 454. And, UI Code § 1275 provides: “Unemployment compensation benefit award computations shall be based on wages paid in the base period." Kerin v. Unemp. Ins. Appeals Board (
1978) 87 Cal.App.3d 146.
Based upon the above, if you argue that you are entitled to have your bonus payments considered as part of your 2012 wages, then if you were paid unemployment benefits during that same period, then you will be required to pay back the value of the bonus to EDD as an overpayment.
So, if your overpayment isn't worth the value of your new claim, then maybe you want to appeal the decision. But, if you win, you will have to repay your bonus to EDD to the extent that it replaced UI benefits.
Hope this helps.
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