SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With bars that don’t serve food shut down as of Wednesday, some employees may be finding themselves in need of unemployment benefits just days after they stopped collecting them.
Some San Diego County bars got just 19 days to operate before they were shuttered again, but that’s plenty of time for employees to have their unemployment benefits lapse.
The good news is that individuals don’t have to start entirely from square one.
“It should be less time-consuming this go around,” said Andrew Picard with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, a local non-profit agency that supports job-seekers with training, but is not in charge of processing unemployment benefits.
It turns out, if you stop certifying for unemployment benefits for even one week, your claim goes inactive and must be reopened.
Picard recommends reopening the claim as soon as possible.
The following guide was provided by the Employment Development Department.d
Step 1: Access your UI Online account.
Log in to Benefit Programs Online and select UI Online.
Step 2: Select Reopen Your Claim.
Select Reopen Your Claim from the Notifications section of your UI Online home page. This link will only appear if you need to reopen your claim.
Step 3: Answer all questions.
Individuals will be asked a series of questions to help EDD determine their eligibility to receive UI benefits. If additional information is needed, a phone interview will be scheduled.
Step 4: Review and submit your answers.
After each individual have answered all the questions and have verified your answers, select Submit to reopen your claim.
If an individual successfully submits the request to reopen a claim, the Confirmation page will display. The individual should print or save a copy for their records.
Step 5: Check your status.
Claimants should access their UI Online homepage regularly to check the status of their request. If an individual successfully reopened their claim, they will be advised when to certify for benefits. If additional information is needed, a phone interview will be scheduled. The date and time will be sent by mail and will also appear in the Notifications section of each claimant’s UI Online homepage. It may take up to 10 days to reopen a claim if it needs to be reviewed by an EDD representative.
It may take up to 10 days to reopen a claim followed by additional time to certify for benefits.
"What we’ve heard is the process can take up to three weeks," Picard said. "While waiting, we encourage folks to go to our website. We’ve got career coaches standing by and a variety of resources to help people get job training and go back to work immediately."
Some bartenders may have returned to work and continued collecting partial unemployment benefits because they were working reduced hours.
If they were to lose a job in that case, the state says they can update their wage data on UI Online through the bi-weekly certification process, and there should be no added delay.