California training benefits program
The California Training Benefits (CTB) Program allows eligible California Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants who lack competitive job skills to receive their UI compensation benefits while attending training/retraining program approved by the Employment Development Department (EDD).
The ability to compete for jobs in California’s labor market can be impaired by technological advancements, effects of automation and relocation, and foreign competition. The CTB program was established to assist those individuals in need of training or retraining in skills required in demand occupations. Under the CTB program, the traditional role of UI changes from that of partial wage replacement while the individual looks for work to one of assisting the individual in training/retraining in an effort to return to full employment.
The CTB provides assistance by allowing payment of UI compensation benefits to individuals while they attend an approved training program. If approved for CTB, individuals do not have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Look for work
- Be available for work
- Accept suitable work
An extension of CTB training benefits, known as a Training Extension (TE) claim may be available beyond the regular UI claim if needed to complete the period of approved training.
CTB eligibility criteria
To participate in the CTB program, an individual must be eligible to receive California UI compensation benefits and be attending training or retraining program approved by EDD. There are two types of CTB program approval criteria.
1. The individual’s training/retraining program is authorized by one of the following:
- Workforce Investment Act (WIA) federally funded programs
- Employment Training Panel (ETP) state funded programs
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) federally funded programs
- California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) training contracts
2. If the individual’s training is not authorized under WIA, ETP, TAA or CalWORKS, the individual is potentially eligible for CTB program approval if all the following criteria are met:
- The individual must be out of work for four or more continuous weeks, or be unlikely to return to their most recent work place due to a plant closure or substantial reduction in work force, or be unemployed due to a mental or physical disability preventing the use of existing job skills, or be unemployed due to technological changes in their occupations; AND
- The individual must be unemployed due to a lack of sufficient current demand for the individuals’ skills within the local labor market area, or the individuals’ occupation is seasonal and the individuals have no other skills in current demand; AND
- The training is in an occupation that is in demand in the individual’s local labor market in this State or be willing to relocate within California to an area where the labor market demand exists; AND
- The training or retraining must be specific trade-related training for individuals who are journey level union members; AND
- The training must be completed within one year from the EDD approval date, including scheduled breaks and vacation breaks; AND
- The training is full-time as defined by the school and EDD, and intended to provide skills to obtain immediate employment, but not primarily to obtain a degree. (EDD considers full-time to be not less than 20 hours per week, or 12 units per semester or quarter); AND
- The individual must reasonably be expected to complete the training or retraining successfully; AND
- The beginning date of training is three years or more since the beginning date of prior CTB participation.
Training Extension (TE) eligibility criteria
A TE claim may be available beyond a regular UI claim if the individual is approved from CTB and the inquiry of application for CTB was made prior to receipt of the 16th week of UI compensation benefits. If the individual’s maximum benefit award is less than 16 weeks, the inquiry or application must be made before the individual exhausts his or her benefits.
Individuals, who are determined to meet the TE eligibility criteria, may file a TE claim once benefits are exhausted on their regular UI claim and on any federally funded extension.
- Individuals, who are otherwise eligible for UI benefits and who are determined to meet the CTB eligibility criteria, receive their regular UI compensation benefits during the period of CTB approved training. CTB participants must obtain bi-weekly certifications from the training facility staff or program provider confirming their satisfactory attendance and progress. The amount of the claim award, not the length of training, determines how long UI benefits can be paid while participating in the CTB program.
- The maximum amount of potentially payable TE benefits is equal to 52 times the weekly benefit amount of the regular UI claim on which CTB was approved, reduced by the maximum benefit award of the regular claim and any subsequent new claim, and amounts paid on any federal or state extension and TE claims. The TE benefits are payable until the training is completed, the maximum TE amount is paid, or the individual qualifies for a new claim or any federally funded extension; whichever occurs first.
- When in effect, federal extended benefits replace the TE claim benefits for CTB participants.
- If an individual qualifies to a subsequent new UI claim in California or another state while receiving TE benefits or prior to filing a TE claim, the new UI claim must be filed and benefits must be paid from the new claim, even if the new claim has a lower weekly benefit amount.