How to get help

If the fact sheets, sample letters, and other links on this page do not address your needs, please call our Workers' Rights Clinic. We can provide services in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin and can arrange services in additional languages.
  • 866-864-8208
    Toll-free
  • Appointments across California

Putting Justice to Work

Legal Aid at Work provides detailed information about numerous areas of employment law. Here are our fact sheets related to unemployment. Visit our “free legal info” page to see a complete list.

Fact Sheets

Sample letters and forms

You can download these Word documents and fill them out to apply for unemployment insurance or appeal if you've been denied benefits.

Do-It-Yourself Guides

You may be able to handle your case on your own or with the help of someone you know, including filing an appeal. Here are guides for you and your advocate.

Our Partners

You may get additional information and support from organizations we work closely with.
  • office logo (placeholder for NELP logo)
    National Employment Law Project
    NELP fights for better policies to expand access to work and strengthen protections and support for low-wage workers and the unemployed.
    Learn More
  • office logo (placeholder for CLIWA logo)
    Coalition of Low-Wage and Immigrant Worker Advocates
    CLIWA includes worker centers, legal services programs, community organizations, and workers' rights clinics across California that enforce workers’ rights to fair pay, safe working conditions, and workplaces without discrimination or harassment.
    Learn More

Highlights of Our Work

Here are examples of our achievements for clients securing unemployment insurance benefits:
    Last week, on July 3rd, 2014, in a major victory for California’s workers, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that workers are not disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits simply for refusing to sign disciplinary notices.  The case, Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, threatened to gut workers’ ability to receive unemployment insurance benefits … Continue reading "Securing Unemployment Insurance"
  • California Supreme Court Issues Major Victory for Workers in Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

    Last week, on July 3rd, 2014, in a major victory for California’s workers, the California Supreme...

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  • Late last month, Congress and President Obama extended federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, previously set to expire at the end of this month, through the end of February 2012. While the renewal of federal UI is a tremendous relief to the approximately 1.1 million Californians who depend on these benefits to survive while looking for … Continue reading "Securing Unemployment Insurance"
  • Federal Extensions of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Authorized—But Shortened—for Unemployed Californians

    Late last month, Congress and President Obama extended federal unemployment insurance (UI)...

    Learn More

Additional Resources

Information at these links may help you understand your situation and your options.
  • logo for California Employment Development Department
    California EDD
    EDD is where you apply for unemployment insurance. Here's EDD's guide to determining whether a person is eligible.
    Learn More
  • California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
    The CUIAB is the state agency that hears and resolves appeals of decisions by EDD.
    Learn More