SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new initiatives to support the millions of workers across the state that have lost jobs or had their livelihoods impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

As part of the initiative the Employment Development Department (EDD) will launch a new call center on Monday, April, 20, that will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. The center will be staffed with 1,340 employees from EDD and other state government agencies. Governor Newsom has also directed the EDD to expedite access to the Work Share program to avert more layoffs.

The EDD will also set up a one-stop shop for individuals applying for unemployment insurance and the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program starting April 28.

The PUA will provide federally funded benefits distinct from UI program for individuals like the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig economy workers who are out of work or partially unemployed due to COVID-19. 

"Many Californians are one paycheck away from losing their homes or from being able to put food on their tables, and COVID-19 has only made these challenges worse," said Governor Newsom. "California is focused on getting relief dollars and unemployment assistance in the hands of those who need it as quickly as possible."


Governor Newsom has also announced $125 million in disaster relief assistance for working Californians. In what the governor's office calls a "first in the nation, statewide public-private partnership," this initiative will provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by coronavirus. The State of California will provide $75 million in disaster relief assistance with the remaining $50 million coming from philanthropic partners.

"California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient," said Governor Newsom. "Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together."

California's $75 million Disaster Relief Fund will provide aid to undocumented Californians impacted by COVID-19 who are ineligible or unemployment insurance benefits and disaster relief due to their immigration status. Approximately 150,000 undocumented adult Californians will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household.

Individuals can apply for support beginning next month. The state's Disaster Relief Fund will be dispersed through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with experience serving undocumented communities. 

Governor Newsom also provided an update on the latest statewide coronavirus case numbers:

  • 63 additional deaths
  • 821 deaths
  • 24,424 confirmed positive cases
  • 1,175 people in ICU