California’s unemployment system will stop accepting new claims for the next two weeks, following the publication of a report finding the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) in need of immediate reforms. The two-week “reset” comes after the EDD has drawn criticism for delaying payments to more than 1 million unemployed Californians, with many applicants saying they’re unable to reach the department for help fixing a claim.
The new report — published Saturday by a task force assembled by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July — found a number of issues inside EDD, including an emphasis on preventing fraud at all cost, even if that means delaying payments to many applicants. During the department’s two-week reset, the EDD plans to roll out a new identity verification tool. Staffers will also begin work to clear the backlog. But resolving all those pent-up claims could take until the end of January. The EDD plans to implement other changes, such as allowing users to upload documents from their smartphones, which could help decrease the department’s continued reliance on snail mail.
Today on AirTalk, we discuss the report’s findings, the latest challenges with the EDD and what it all means for those trying to claim jobless benefits. Plus we take your questions about the process. Give us a call, explain your situation and ask your question. Call 866-893-5722 to join the conversation.
With files from LAist
With guest host Kyle Stokes
Daniela Urban, executive director of the Center for Workers' Rights in Sacramento which advocates for workplace justice, she’s also special counsel at Legal Aid at Work, a San Francisco based nonprofit law firm that assists low-income working families throughout California