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Coronavirus Unemployment: EDD Clarifies Confusing Question — 'No, You Don't Have To Lie'

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A couple questions on the unemployment application have caused a lot of confusion for many - but there is now some clarity after CBS13 started asking questions.

Generally speaking, to qualify for unemployment, you have to be actively looking for work.

The initial application asks "Are you ready and willing to accept work … that matches your skills?" And the follow-up bi-weekly certification asks, "Did you look for work?"

But right now, actively looking for work is not an option for many.

CBS13 has heard from dozens of viewers who were confused about how to answer the "looking for work" questions on the EDD application. Some told us they felt forced to lie in order to qualify for the benefits.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Unemployment: CBS13 Answering Frequently Asked Questions

"Our doors are shut by the state. It's not like this is our choice," said Danielle, a northern California hairstylist.

She said she understands why many in her unemployment Facebook group answered "no" to the question "Are you ready and willing to accept work … that matches your skills?"

They can't look for work right now, at least not in their field. They are not considered critical employees.

But those who truthfully answered "no" found their claims denied. The reason, according to the EDD denial, was that they "must be able and available for work."

Those who answered "yes" were approved for unemployment, but then faced the same dilemma when it came time to certify and they were asked again "Did you look for work?"

CBS13 raised the issue with the EDD earlier this month and now they've officially updated their Frequently Asked Questions, clarifying: "You should answer the question truthfully." You will not be penalized if you answer "no" to the question about looking for work.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Unemployment Application Problems: Lessons Learned So Far

So what about those who were denied because they answered "no?"

The EDD says it's likely they applied before March 20 – that's when the agency got approval to adjust eligibility requirements.

If you were denied, you should reapply and spread the word.

—Follow our continuing coverage as CBS13 works to get answers to your Coronavirus Unemployment Questions: 

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment


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