Updated 2018

It’s harder than ever to reach a live representative!

Unemployment Call Log

During the great recession, everything changed. With so many budget cuts, which we’ve yet to recover from, it became very difficult to get live support from many government agencies.

While record amounts of people lined the Unemployment offices, the major reconstruction came just as steadily. These two changes were devastating to many unemployed Californians:

  • Unemployment (EDD – Employment Development Department) offices were closed to the public!

Only the One Stop Career Centers were left.

  • Phone line hours changed and calls are now answered only between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

So how do you reach a live representative?

Because of the shortened call center hours, it can be very difficult to reach a live representative.  It’s not just a problem with long hold times. The bigger problem is that the calls are so backed up, the option to hold often isn’t even offered.  Instead, you have to hang up and try again. I understand how frustrating it can be when you need to speak to a person and find yourself struggling through the endless navigation of a recorded system.   Before writing this post, I called and called until I finally got a live person.  Then I told her I had the wrong number.  She cracked up.  I knew she would.  (That’s a lot of effort for a wrong number)  That’s how I tested this method before sharing it with you.  I was able to get many of the calls down to 29 seconds, before needing to hang up and try again.

Follow the steps below.  The key is to keep calling until the system puts you on hold.  Navigating through the system by waiting for the recorded messages to play out can take a very long time.  So, I’ve made it simple for you.

1. Dial 1-800-326-8937

2. As soon as you hear the recorded message start, Press 1

3. As soon as you hear the recorded message start, Press 6

4. As soon as you hear the recorded message start, Press 7

5. As soon as you hear the recorded message start, Press 3

6. As soon as you hear the recorded message start, Enter your Social Security Number


b. If the next recorded message begins with, “Due to the current number of callers…,” hang up and repeat steps 1-7 until you get a message that says what your hold time will be.

This process can take a while, but by entering the dial prompts immediately, you will save a lot of time normally spent listening to the lengthy recorded message over and over again.  Keep going through these steps, and you will reach a live representative! Good luck!

For faster payment of claims, use the online or phone reporting system.