Thousands of Californians face more delays in getting unemployment benefits

For many, 'programming infrastructure' issues within California's unemployment agency have left a gap in benefits since late December.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Those in need of financial assistance must now hold on longer, before receiving benefits from the Employment Development Department, California's unemployment agency.

EDD officials say this latest delay is a result of 'programming infrastructure' issues.

Applicants must now wait until March 7th to re-apply for benefits.

"We actually believe it is going to be weeks and weeks longer than that," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. "They are going to have to start processing and we know how their processing goes."

On a daily basis Patterson's office works to help countless Valley residents with their claims.

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He says he's just as frustrated as they are with how the EDD has handled the pandemic.

Patterson believes the EDD knew about its tech issues last month but waited until February to make it public.

"Every single one of my staff people has a large amount of casework, maybe 100 or more each, and they just keep coming in," he said.

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Those impacted by the latest delay include those who ran out of their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation prior to the end of the CARES Act.

For many, this has left a gap in benefits since late December.

"We in the legislature are going to have to be prepared now once again to handle an influx of a lot of people who are trying their best to follow the rules, but are finding that the roadblock is the very EDD," said Patterson.

Monday the director of the EDD said the state agency will work quickly to process the claims of nearly 200,000 whose eligibility expired in late December.

Since the pandemic started, the EDD has processed nearly 20 million claims and paid out $114 billion in benefits.
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