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How do you pay bills if you lost your job?

Most workers in California depend on their paychecks to pay for living expenses and other bills. Many workers are considered to be at-will employees, which means they can be terminated for any reason at any time. If you have lost your job, and you were not at fault for the termination, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. This money is available for a certain amount of time to help you stay afloat while you look for different employment.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, participants can collect unemployment compensation for up to 26 weeks in California. While the dollar amount is less than what workers received as employees, it is helpful during the job-search process.

The State of California Employment Development Department states in order to receive these benefits, individuals must meet certain requirements. Along with the obvious one of being partially or completely unemployed, the applicant must have earned a minimum amount during a 12-month period of work. Other requirements include the applicant must:

  • Be available and in physical condition to work
  • Be ready to accept a job offer immediately
  • Look for work on a weekly basis

These factors must be met for each week the recipient gets unemployment compensation. If the requirements are not met, the benefits may be denied, or the amount may be reduced. The weekly amount one may receive ranges from $40 to $450. 

The exception to some of the requirements is if the beneficiary is interested in, and approved for, training programs. These help build skills to improve the ability to find a new job.  



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