How much does it pay?

California unemployment benefits are not one-size-fits-all, whether it’s standard Unemployment Insurance or the coronavirus-era Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Applicants must detail prior earnings and, when certifying for benefits every two weeks, report any current earnings. The state looks at both when it decides how much to pay in benefits. 

In California, normal unemployment payments range from $40-$450 a week. An online EDD calculator estimates how much those payments will total. 

Regular benefits tend to replace around 45% of prior weekly earnings. That can leave families stretched thin by unemployment, particularly in California’s high-cost cities. For 16 weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government bumped benefits up by $600, a sizable addition.