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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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If I volunteer for 2 days a week (unpaid) will I lose my Cal

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If I volunteer for 2 days a week (unpaid) will I lose my Cal EDD benefits? Does it need to be reported on the biweekly claim form?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. My goal is to answer your question completely and thoroughly and to provide excellent service.

In general, an individual will be eligible to receive benefits provided that they have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim (either $1300 in one quarter of their "base period," or at least $900 in their highest quarter and total base period earnings of 1.25 times their high quarter earnings), they are physically able and available to immediately accept work, actively seeking work, and unemployed through no fault of their own.

"Unemployed" is defined in Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1252(a) in relevant part as: "Any week during which [a worker] performs no services and with respect to which no wages are payable to him or her.

If work is unpaid, an individual would NOT be precluded from benefits on the ground that they were "employed" while volunteering.

However, unpaid volunteer work must typically be reported to the EDD because it may (at least in theory) affect the EDD's determination of whether you are "available to immediately accept work." It is a shame that the laws governing unemployment would ever create a disincentive for the unemployed to volunteer their time, but if the EDD determines that the work somehow prohibits the volunteer from being available to immediately accept work, that may conceivably affect their eligibility.

Likely, all that will be required is to explain to the EDD that the volunteer work can be ceased at any time and does not in any way inhibit your availability to accept paid work. However, because the EDD needs to make a determination on this issue, they must typically be informed of the volunteer work in the interest of full and honest disclosure.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

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Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

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