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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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In the state of California, if you are a small business owner

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In the state of California, if you are a small business owner - and your business has recently failed, is there anyway you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance?

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Did you by any chance pay yourself a salary from which payments to EDD for unemployment insurance were deducted?

If not, when was the last time you were employed by someone else other than your business?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Joseph. I am actually inquiring on behalf of my brother. He is great guy, but his business has failed. He is running out of money and would like to start searching for a job.


Regarding your first question, no - he did not pay himself a salary. His costs were high and his revenue was very low. There were no payments to EDD from his limited income. His business "stumbled" along for a long while. He has not been employed, by an employer, since 2010.

Hello Blake,

Unfortunately, your brother wouldn't be able to receive unemployment benefits from EDD, since as a business owner who wasn't drawing any salary from the business, there were no payments made to EDD, which are made through payroll taxes.

Business owners and independent contractors are unfortunately not eligible for unemployment benefits since they do not receive 'wages' from which unemployment insurance taxes are deducted.

I really wish I had better news to give you, as my brother has been through a similar situation.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I truly appreciate your answer and your candor. I hate to ask, but would Welfare or Food Stamps be applicable programs for my brother to apply for?

Yes, he would be likely be eligible for both.

Here is the link to the foodstamps (CalFresh) application:

and medi-cal if he needs it:

and the department of Social Services:
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