More Than 100,000 of Cali's Unemployed Will Miss Benefits

December 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
More than 100,000 of out of work Californians who rely on unemployment benefits will have to wait a couple of weeks to receive their checks.Rodney Taylor is an unemployed brick mason. He'd like to be out building with his hands but instead he's pounding keyboards looking for work. "It's pretty rough," he said.

Taylor believes he is in unemployment limbo right now. That's why he's here at Fresno's Employment Development Department, or EDD.

Taylor said, "I got the experience. I just don't know why, I don't know. I trying to think maybe age, getting older."

The E.D.D. believes 100,000 people could be in the same position as Taylor this holiday season. A recent extension on federal unemployment insurance created an unexpected delay for many out-of-work residents in California.

The E.D.D. released a statement saying they are "[A]ggressively working to complete complex programming required to process and pay the new federal extensions ... "

Taresa Shannon has not received her benefits in a while. She said, "I've gotten one the whole time. I've been off work since September 25th and I've received one check the whole time."

Shannon said the state questioned her returning to college. "Asked me when I attend classes. That kind of stuff. He asked me three questions. 'Ok, then we can release the eight checks we've been holding for you.' Thanks I'd like to make my house payment this month. Thank you very much," she exclaimed.

As of Thursday the E.D.D. completed installing the new software onto its computers. The plan is to start processing the new federal unemployment claims within the next two weeks.


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