my employer terminated me. During that I had umbilical hernia surgery and immediately have disability insurance which paid me for a year (California State Disability Insurance). Can I apply for unemployment insurance after my disability is over or during that period?
If you are ready, willing and able to perform work and you are actively looking for work, and there is still enough earnings in the look back period for you to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits then yes, you can apply for and receive benefits. Apply. There is no harm in doing so and you can see what happens.
As to your termination, even though you were off of work for a year (apparently) it may have been unlawful to terminate you if you were soon going to be able to return to work, or if were released to return to work prior to now with restrictions that could have been accommodated but were not. It would be prudent for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low-charge consultation and then if the matter has merit and sufficient value, they work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
I agree with Mr. Pedersen. You must be ready, willing and able to work and actively seeking employment to get unemployment insurance.
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