Tips and Tricks: Getting Through to California’s EDD, Sanity in Tact
Back in January, I posted Thanks to the EDD, I’m Slowly Losing My Mind.
It chronicled my infuriating experience with California’s unemployment office. I shared my frustration at not being sent my first unemployment check two months after filing my claim. I highlighted my disbelief at being told to call a 1-800 number, then spending weeks dialing it in vain.
And I soon came to realize I wasn’t alone.
Comment after comment, readers shared their own stories. They gave tips and tricks for getting past the automated phone system. They laughed at the preposterousness of the situation (and probably cried quietly to themselves). Six months later, the comments section of that post is still alive and kicking.
So if you find yourself jobless, checkless and at the wrong end of an EDD phone call, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s what we’ve learned from our community since the story went live:
- Keep your resume with CalJobs up to date.
- You did know you needed to post your resume on CalJobs, right?
- Make sure you fill out both columns on the right hand side of the form (some people, I’m told, overlook one of the columns; alright fine, it was me, but the lady on the phone assured me it happens a lot)
- Make photocopies of your claim form, in case you make a mistake on one or in case they stop sending them to you.
- Make sure the check boxes are dark. Form is read by computers.
- There is no unemployment office in California, at least no office that allows you to speak to an adviser face-to-face. All contact is by phone, mail and email. But mostly it’s by Scantron sheets from the late 70s.
- If you’re unlucky enough to have to call them (lost form, problem on form, etc), dial 12117 as soon as you hear “welcome”. Our readers swear by it.
- Still can’t get through? Try the Vietnamese line: 1-800-547-2058. It’s got less traffic than the other lines and the person who picks up will be bilingual, and will have to speak to you in English. I know at least two people who this worked for.
- Calling 223 times in one day is not unusual, and no guarantee you will get through.
- Still can’t get through by phone? Go here, and send them a message. You’ll receive a reference number by email. Keep it!
- They don’t have downloadable bi-weekly claim forms online. That would be too efficient. But you can request to have a new one sent to you. Go here. Click on “select category” >Unemployment Insurance Benefits>Select Topic>Claim Form-Need Replacement Form.
- Stay on top of them like “you’re managing a bunch of kindergartners”
Thanks so much to everyone who has chimed in to share tips and support. And if you have any other suggestions or stories, please continue to share them!
Sometimes it’s just a relief to know that other people are going through the same maddening experience. And that if you are losing your mind (as I was), it really is thanks to the EDD.
P.S. For musings not related to unemployment, check out my new blog, Lipstick & Lemonade