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EDD issue that blocked 178,000 from reapplying for unemployment benefits is now fixed

California's Employment Development Department says a missing button in UI Online meant some people whose benefit year has expired were not able to reapply.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Employment Development Department (EDD)  said it has corrected an issue that was blocking about 178,000 people from reapplying for their unemployment benefits and getting their money.

EDD first revealed the issue in a Tweet on Tuesday, saying the issue affected people who had reached the end of their benefit year.

In an email to the Dollars and Sense team, EDD said, "the issue arose when customers were not able to select the “File New Claim” button within their UI Online account."

EDD said it was making changes to fix the problem and people should be able to reapply on Friday. EDD said people who are affected by the missing button should have been notified by email and text messages.

In an email to the Dollars and Sense team, EDD confirmed on Friday morning, "the functionality of the 'File New Claim' button has been restored and the individuals who were affected can reapply today."

A huge wave of people reached the end of their benefit year in the past month, as we moved a year into the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, people who started on Regular UI benefits are required to reapply.

The end of a benefit year can be a bit complicated, but how it affects you, and what you need to do, depends on what type of benefits you receive.

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What is the End of Benefit Year?

The EDD defines your benefit year as the 12 month period after you filed your claim for benefits. 

Once your benefit year ends, you are required to apply for a new claim if you are currently on:

  • Regular UI
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extension
  • Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) extension

People on PUA do not need to apply for a new claim (more information on that below).

Once you file for a new claim, the EDD will let you know if you qualify. You will receive an email and text message from the EDD when your new claim is processed. Right now, the EDD says this process is taking two to three weeks.

If you do not qualify for a new claim, the EDD will send you a denial letter. You will then be able to continue with a federal benefits extension that you qualify for.

Regular Unemployment

People who are on regular UI claims are required to apply for a new claim at the end of their benefit year.

  • If you file for a new unemployment claim and qualify, EDD will move you to that new claim. As many people lost income in the past year, there is a chance you could qualify at a lower rate, but there is some protection.

"If their weekly benefit amount is going to decrease more than $25, then they'll be allowed to remain on their prior benefits year and continue to get the extensions, instead of being moved to what would have been their weekly benefit amount on the new claim," Urban said.

  • If you do not qualify for a new claim, EDD will determine if you are eligible for a PEUC extension.

PEUC

People who are on a Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extension are required to apply for a new claim at the end of their benefit year.

  • If you qualify for a new unemployment claim, and the weekly benefit amount doesn't change, EDD will move you to the new claim.
  • If you qualify for a new unemployment claim, but your weekly benefit amount is less than what you were earning on PEUC, you will be able to finish collecting the rest of your current PEUC extension. Once you reach the end of that extension, EDD will switch you to the new unemployment claim.
  • If you don't qualify for a new unemployment claim, you will continue on your current PEUC claim, and EDD will then add the additional 29 weeks of PEUC benefits that were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

FED-ED

People who are on a Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) extension are required to apply for a new claim at the end of their benefit year.

  • If you qualify for a new unemployment claim, EDD will move you to the new claim or back to your PEUC extension.
  • If you don't qualify for a new unemployment claim, you will be able to collect the rest of your FED-ED benefits. Once you exhaust those benefits, EDD will move you to a PEUC extension with the additional 29 weeks of benefits that were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

PUA

People who are on a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim are not required to apply for a new claim at the end of their benefit year. Instead, EDD will check if you qualify for a new unemployment claim based on wages you earned over the last 18 months.

  • If you qualify for a new unemployment claim, EDD will move you to the new claim.
  • If you don't qualify for a new unemployment claim, you will remain on your PUA claim.

WATCH MORE: EDD end of claim year FAQ + new federal unemployment extension & boost