What happens when unemployment insurance pays more than the job you had? This could be the case in the Golden State. California unemployment benefits pay more than $50,000 per year in some cases. 

“Many Californians are feeling the effects of this pandemic, and this added benefit is very important to our workers so they have needed resources during this difficult time,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press release. 

This month, Newsom announced an additional $600 weekly payment for out-of-work Californians.

That means that you could receive up to $1,050 per week in unemployment insurance.

Loree Levy, a spokesperson for the Employment Development Department (EDD) confirmed this. "A worker who receives a maximum weekly benefit payment of $450 here in California would collect an additional $600 on top of that," she said in a Mercury News article.

The EDD has called this "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance."

It amounts to a possible $50,400 per year in unemployment benefits.

The amount you will receive varies by your current employment status, household size, and you must have worked in the past 12 to 18 months and have earned a minimum amount of wages as specified on their site.

To qualify for the extra Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, you must meet certain criteria.

This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • "You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • You are unable to work because a health care provider advised you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19."

California's unemployment insurance website has a quick eligibility checker that lets you see your chances of being approved. The site offers over 1,200 forms for benefits to local residents in need.