How to Get a Human Operator on the California EDD Paid Family Leave line

Edit: If you are in a desperate situation, or getting rejected multiple days, please call your State Assemblymember. Staffers in the Legislature have access to additional resources and can help you get the assistance you need from EDD.

The California EDD Paid Family Leave phone tree is like a choose your own adventure book, where almost every option leaves you with no option to contact a human. This can be frustrating. But you can reach a human if you know the right buttons to press!

Here is how to reach a human:

  • Call the EDD Paid Family Leave number at 877-238-4373.

  • Press '1' for "benefit information."

  • Follow the prompts to enter your SSN, zip code, date of birth, and weekly benefit amount.

  • The computer will read you an automated list of information about your claim.

The computer will then read a list of prompts. Wait!! After the computer asks if you want to go back to the main menu it will say "press 0 to speak to a human." Press 0 and then wait and you should get a human!

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

38 thoughts on “How to Get a Human Operator on the California EDD Paid Family Leave line

    1. Karla

      This is so sad, that people have to do this to reach an actual human to help with these phone matters in 2023. If these automated machines helped so much, people wouldnt be doing this online and figuring out like a maze to reach the speak with a person prompt. Government agencies are so outdated

  1. Mac

    Omg this saved me so much time.. I was going through loops and loops of IVR and not able to find a way to reach to a representative for paid Family Leave issue.

    1. Rani

      I filed a claim 7 working days ago and I am waiting to know if it has been approved. I am checking everyday to see if there are any messages on SDI website for me. None. I noticed you wrote that I should enter weekly benefit amount in the options to get a human. However, I don’t know yet what that amount is. How I find the status of my filed claim after waiting for a week.

    2. Sone Berg

      Hi, I’ve tried this multiple times and after I press 1, I don’t hear any prompts to enter my social or other info. I also never get the chance to press 0 for a rep. Did something change? I’m desperate! Thank you!

  2. Jay

    This works but at the end I get “The Maximum Number of Callers Has Been Reached” and edd hangs up on me. This has happened 2 days in a row.

  3. Alex

    Don’t know if this helps, but my experience was similar but slightly different: Called the number you listed. Pressed 3 to get to PFL option of the phone tree, from there on, I had to press 1 (“Eligibility Info” – I think it was), wait through ALL of the LONG message and it continues as you say (at the VERY END, it will offer 0 to talk to a rep).

    Thanks for your help!

    1. ashley c kell

      Yes I did what Alex said to do.
      1 for english
      3 for PFL
      1 for eligibility info
      1 again (cant remember what for)
      but waited till the end of the message even after it says “9 to go back” and i pressed 0 to speak with rep

      but if there are too many people waiting it will say call back.

      1. Eve S

        I wasn’t able to get through the representative as Alex’s instruction, BUT I was able to pressed 0 to speak with a rep with Ashley’s solution.

      2. Anders

        Ashley’s method worked, eventually.

        As per other comments, add a new contact and add in a comma for each button press (“pause” on an iphone)

        For Paid Family Leave, I used the following contact number – took about 20 times but got through eventually.


        1. Nan

          This worked for me too! Thank you so much for the tip. After the phone number, pressed 1,3,1,1,0. I did run into the maximum number of callers message, so I called first thing the next morning. Started calling and going through the prompts at 7:59am and was placed in the queue starting at 8:01am. I was still on hold for about an hour, but I did get to a helpful representative. I got my questions answered and claim resolved!

    2. Devin

      You don’t know how much this helped. My wife just had brain surgery to remove a tumor and I’ve been calling for 2 weeks to figure out if im filling this complicated form out correctly so our neurologist can forward it to EDD. Finally I found a way to speak to a human.

    3. Kimberly Russell

      I made it to the press 0 part and then it says the maximum # of callers are in the queue…ahh this is so frustrating.

      1. Jane

        Agree. I even called right at 8 am and the same thing. I want to know the people who get through. Seriously!

    4. Angie Bee

      I called the hotline number 877-238-4373 and followed the prompt steps: 1, 3, 0. I called 70 times in a row! It took about 55 minutes of my time with a bathroom break in the middle but on the 71st attempt I got through! And my wait time was one 2 minutes so I spoke to someone really quickly once I got through.

  4. Veena

    I keep getting “the maximum number of callers have been reached. Pls call again”. Do I just keep trying throughout the day? I started calling at 8:05am. I have been trying for two days now :(

    1. Bin

      I got the same message every time for at least 10 attempts on multiple days. Then today I suddenly got through (around 1 PM on Tuesday), and asked them to call me back. I will update you when I got a call from them.

  5. Julia John

    Thank you so much! You are a life saver.

    First – 1
    Then – 3
    Then – 1
    Then – 1
    Don’t need to wait for the long message to get over. Select 0 immediately to get into the waiting line.

    1. RM

      So much faster than what I was doing with the SSN and what not. But still sucks it’s so hard to get through. I’m literally on my 67th try with calling and getting rejected. Story of my LIFE!!!

  6. Vann

    they make it so difficult for you to talk to someone, ive been trying for almost week and still “reached maximum number of callers. i tried going to go to the local employment office, and all they can’t help you but tell you have to continue doing the same steps.

  7. Gloria Pulido

    1/3/2022 I should be receiving SDI since 11/1/2021, but it’s apparent they deleted my file & app. since I have proof they recvd it in Nov.2021 I into SDI as shown on my pay stubs but these offices are way out of line in how they control our situations. I cannot pay my house payment nor anything. What legislatures have a say in this? I get thrown out queue day after day!

    1. Yuyu

      The best way to deal with the long wait is to go to a local EDD office. The wait is usually not long and the reps there can solve the problem on the spot.
      Although it may be a few driving involved, it definitely reduces/eliminate the frustration you get from calling!

    2. Sam

      Hi, I started receiving payment from the EDD in November and they stopped paying me in December. I have been in contact with the state assembly member Jim Patterson regarding this issue. I found that 325,000 EDD accounts have been frozen by the EDD due to suspected fraudulent activity. I still have not been able to contact EDD. You should try to reach out to the congressman regarding this. What the EDD is doing to innocent people should be illegal.

  8. Vincent Martin

    I used It’s for PFL, EDD, and disability. Probably only need it when you can’t get through but it dials multiple lines at once and calls you when it get through.

  9. MorCor

    This no longer works – confirmed 07/13/2022. So after step 2 “press 1” for “benefit information,” press 1 again to get to actually enter your SSN, then, and just to solidify the disappointment, the SAME voicemail is heard for every contact number, “We’re sorry, we have reached the maximum number of callers. Please try again later.” wtf!

  10. dan

    My PFL was suddenly cut off because they said that my employer continued to pay my full wages, which is completely un true. I have tried all the above tips and still can’t get anybody on the phone. I also filed the necessary appeal paperwork. If anyone has any tips, please let me know.

    1. Alex

      The exact thing just happened to me and I can’t get ahold of anyone, it’s been weeks now. Did yours ever get resolved?

  11. J

    Tried the 1,3,1,1,0 method and it works. However, I did call about 8-10 times because it keeps saying “reached maximum number of callers”, then it hung up. I would suggest to call in around 9-10am to avoid the crowd called at 8am.

    In the beginning, i called at 8am, but keeps getting hung up. Then i tried one time around 9-10am and was able to stay on the line and I was able to save the calling spot by leaving my phone #, and EDD called me back.

  12. Priyanka

    I have been getting this voicemail “We’re sorry, we have reached the maximum number of callers. Please try again later.” over & over again from the 8 AM-5 PM window. They rejected my application for the first time & I submitted an appeal with all copies of original certificates & trying to get hold of a human operator but in vain. I missed my wage for 2 weeks to look after my sick family & now this State Dept is giving me a hard time. Please comment if you know a wa out to reach them.

  13. Jeff

    None of these solutions worked for me. I think I’m going to have to just go back go work. No money coming in and trying to get EDD assistance for 4 weeks without any help.


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