Unemployment Benefits

Written by Marianne Friedland, Committee Publications Editor
Updated by Leonard Segal

All Substitute Teachers who are available to work 5 days a week are eligible for unemployment benefits.

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits any week that you do not work, or earned less than the amount of money you qualify to receive (as much as $450/week), as long as you were available to work five days a week, and call the EDD at 800-300-5616 by the Friday of the week you did not work or apply on-line at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/ before the end of Saturday. It is ok to start your claim earlier in the week. The EDD work week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.

YOU MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE for unemployment in any week that you make yourself unavailable for work for more than 4 hours. Please be aware that while you can turn down up to 2 requests from SubFinder in one day and not be considered unavailable by the sub unit, EDD considers turning down 1 assignment or making yourself unavailable for the day as "turning down work." If you apply for unemployment benefits during a week in which you were unavailable for any reason, other than illness, or some other compelling reason your eligibility for collecting unemployment may be denied for more than just that week. Any day that you turn down work due to illness will reduce your claim by 1/7. If there is a compelling reason you are not available 5 days a week then ask for a phone determination interview. Special circumstances are adjudicated on a case by case basis by the EDD.

Year-round Substitute Teachers

The Employment Development Department (EDD) has recognized that many schools are 'year round' and do not fit with the traditional idea of summer being a 'recess period' during which Substitute Teachers are not employed.

When you call to start your claim, it is imperative that you tell the EDD representative that you are a Substitute Teacher for LAUSD. Always document the time and the name of the person you spoke to. The EDD no longer uses Project Notices, referred to as UIPN numbers, to inform the Reps about the special circumstances for LAUSD Substitutes. The Reps are now trained to know that the only time a year-round Substitute for LAUSD is not eligible for benefits is when all the schools are closed during the winter recess between Christmas and January 1. If the Rep asks you whether you have “Reasonable Assurance” to return to work for any other time you apply for benefits make sure you point out that you are a LAUSD Substitute Teacher and the week between Christmas and January 1 is the only week you are not eligible. If the representative is not familiar with these new EDD procedures and informs you that you are being scheduled for a phone interview ask to speak to a supervisor. Always document the time and the name of the person you spoke to.

Traditional Substitute Teachers

Substitute teachers who work only September through June may be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer. If you are a traditional calendar Substitute Teacher, are on recess from all school districts and do not work during the summer, you are not eligible for unemployment money during that time unless you have wages in your base period (approximately one year before your filing date) from non-school employment. These earnings may be used to qualify you whether or not you are considered to be on recess.

Filing On-Line at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/ Here are some guidelines to follow when answering some of the on-line questions. For #22 if you are a Union member answer yes; 22a. UTLA; 22b UTLA ; 22c. 213-487-5560; 22d-22g NO. 36. LAUSD Substitute Teacher; 37. NO. As of this time I am still waiting for further clarification from EDD on some of the other questions. For now just answer the other questions to the best of your recollection.

Following your phone conversation, EDD will send you the following: 1) A Guide To Benefits and Employment Services, 2) A notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed and 3) a two weeks Continued Claim form with the following 6 questions:

  1. Were you too sick or injured to work?
  2. Was there any reason (other than sickness or injury) that you could not have accepted full time work each workday?
  3. Did you look for work?
  4. Did you refuse any work?
  5. Did you begin attending any kind of school or training?
  6. Did you work or earn any money, whether you were paid or not?

As long as you were available to work if the Sub Unit called, answer no for 1, 2, 4, and 5; answer. Answer yes for #3 (. Being on-call counts as looking for work). . If the form asks that you fill out a work search record you can list the Sub Unit and schools that you called to see if they needed you. If you were sick, answer yes for #1 and enter the number of days as requested on the next line. According to EDD's A Guide To Benefits and Employment Services, Your benefits are reduced one-seventh for each day that you cannot work.

Enter the gross earnings for each week in the boxes for 6a. For 6b you write the number of total hours worked that week for LAUSD and list the reasons no longer working as “working on-call”. You will have to give EDD the name and address of your employer which is Los Angeles Unified School District, 333 South Beaudry, Los Angeles 90017.

The EDD will not send you money the first week you are eligible. There is a one-week “waiting period” each year. They will send you money according to the above procedures for the rest of your open claim. It is best to open your claim when work is slowing down and lose less money to the first week “waiting period” instead of waiting until you are eligible for a whole week’s benefits.

It is important to read A Guide To Benefits and Employment Services. This pamphlet will help you understand the process. In addition, if you have any general questions, please call an EDD office. The representatives are helpful and will be happy to help you with your questions. For more EDD answers go to www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment, Click on "Email Us." When you get to the "Contact Us" page choose Category "Unemployment Insurance Benefits" and Topic "Other." A form will open for you to ask you questions.

Sometimes the EDD makes a mistake and denies the claim of a year round Substitute Teacher during summer or the week before Christmas when some schools are open. EDD will give you the opportunity to appeal this decision. SubFinder has erroneously made some Substitutes unavailable through no fault of the Substitute. While the errors by SubFinder may have cost you work, make sure you explain the situation in your appeal so it doesn’t also cost you unemployment benefits.

For EDD information on Filing An Appeal, Frequently Asked Questions, etc. go to http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment .