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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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What should I say to pass my CA unemployment benefit eligilbilty

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What should I say to pass my CA unemployment benefit eligilbilty phone interview?

I've already been receiving benefits for a year. The year endend & I was automatically re-applied since I did work a few months in 2009. This happen May 2010 & I immediately started receiving benefits again. Then EDD sent a notice to my past employer about it & now she's contesting it & said I quit. She hadn't contested the whole year until now. We had a verbal agreement last year before I left that she would lay me off from work allowing me to get unemployment.

The situation started when we had a fight before x-mas 2008. When I showed up for my shift after x-mas she was there & said that I obviously didn't want to work here any more & sent me home. She then took me off the schedule. At this point, I thought I no longer worked there. She then needed knee surgery. She asked me to come back & watch her business while she had surgery & said she would lay me off after. I was fine with that. I've known her 10 years & I knew it would help her out & she was struggling with her business & I was a huge budget cut. So I came back to work. In march she then cut my hrs from 40 to 30. So I applied for partial unemployment then & she fought that & lied saying she did offer me more hrs. So I dropped the claim. Then she started having trouble paying me. One time she was 25 days late!

She then came back to work & we agreed my last day of work would be April 29, 2009. Before I left I asked what to do about unemployment & she said just say you were laid off & as long as she doesn't contest it everything would be fine. So when I filled out the claim I said the reason I was laid off was because there was lack of work & revenue coming in to pay me.

Now there's a list of questions that EDD is planning on asking me this Fri all about why I left/quit my last job & why I put false info on the claim. It's already been confirmed by EDD that my past employer indeed is contesting it.

Help! What do I say. I'm worried about having to pay back all my benefits.

Hypothetically speaking:


  1. If you tell EDD that you had an agreement for her to lay you off, you will lose your benefits and probably be hit with a fine and a demand for repayment of all your past unemployment -- because what you are describing is a fraud under the Unemployment Code.
  2. On the other hand, if you tell EDD that the employer stated that she was no longer able to pay you, due to lack of business revenue, so you took the employer's statement to mean that you were laid off, and you filed for unemployment, then you will keep your benefits, without further repercussions.


Now I don't know what really happend here, but I think you would have to agree that it was probably #2.


Hope this helps.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
After my interview with EDD do they interview my past employer next? I'm not sure how the process works. Is it just up to EDD to make the decision from here out? Or does my past employer get another chance to fight it?

I do know she is contesting this on purpose so she doesn't have to pay more taxes. Plus, my last few months there, we did not get along & I feel as if we didn't leave on good terms. In the past, she has fought anyone who's ever tried to get unemployment. So, I'm concerned that she will screw me if they interview her.

I don't understand how she's allowed to contest it after already receiving benefits for a year. Even though it's a new claim, it's still the same past job & situation.

After my interview with EDD do they interview my past employer next?


A: They could interview the employer first or last, or more than once.


Is it just up to EDD to make the decision from here out?


A: EDD will make a decision, and then the adverse party has an opportunity to request a hearing with an administrative law judge.


The fact that so much time has past, weighs heavily in your favor, because it means that she didn't contest your benefits when they were first awarded. EDD wants to see if you pulled a fast one when you first filed the claim. Your claim was valid if your employer couldn't pay you any more, because you're not expected to work for free.

Edited by socrateaser on 9/9/2010 at 3:05 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My employer didn't actually say she could no longer pay me. She just started having trouble paying me on time because of lack of revenue. She would often state that was the reason why she had to pay me late but often she would not say anything & just pay us all late. I do have pay check stubs proving that I was paid late- often. She also had cut my hours from 40 to 30. I was originally hired on a full-time salary position. So when my hours were cut, I wasn't changed to an hourly position. She would just tell payroll what hrs I worked & then they would figure it out & my check would be less. I didn't even think that was legal. I feel like I have evidence leading up to the fact that she had to let me go for financial reasons. Will EDD take supportive documents such as pay check stubs for evidence & work schedule showing my hrs were cut? Or is just my statement?

You previously wrote: I said the reason I was laid off was because there was lack of work & revenue coming in to pay me.


People always want to tell their story. When they do, they almost always put their foot in it. If you deviate from your original filing reason, and start to explain a convoluted story of why you were laid off, you will be providing EDD with evidence to deny your claim.


You can offer whatever story or evidence you wish to try to defend yourself, however if it were me, I would stick to my original statement, and that's all I would offer.


It's been a year, so maybe you don't remember what happend very well at this point. Maybe your memory isn't exactly accurate. Maybe your employer's memory isn't so good either.


But, whatever you originalyl claimed -- that's in the EDD record, so if you go off course from that, and start telling your story like you remember it from yesterday, you could be risking some very big trouble.


Best of luck.

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