Valley workers face stress, technological hurdles in trying to get unemployment benefits

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After years of hard work, Tannisse Tuttrup was able to land a job as a substitute teacher with Clovis Unified shortly after graduation.

But it took only days for her to go from having a well-paying job to having to file for unemployment.

"When I learned schools were going to be closed, I panicked because I live on my own, I gotta pay rent," she says.

Tuttrup is one of the more than 3 million Californians who turned to the Employment Development Department for unemployment relief.

Getting help, however, hasn't been easy as many have dealt with antiquated application systems, or not being able to reach anyone at the EDD office at all.

"The website kept crashing, I kept having to start over. The process took me a few hours, it was really stressful," she says.

Governor Gavin Newsom addressed those concerns during his daily briefing on Thursday.

As the coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state, so do unemployment rates.

A report from EDD shows California's unemployment rate is a little over 5%.

In the Valley, Fresno County, Tulare, Merced and Madera counties are seeing a more than 10% unemployment rate.

While many are still waiting to receive help, Tuttrup is getting by, saying she finally received her benefits, as well as an extra $600 in federal stimulus payments to help her make rent.

"I'm one of the lucky ones," she says.

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