The actual backlog, which EDD calls claims that are more than 21 days old, is more than 195,00 claims as of right now — up more than 60,000 from last month. It includes people who either are eligible or got a payment and have been waiting for their next one. It comes as the backlog of claims at the state unemployment agency continues to grow. The number of claims that EDD says still need to be certified — meaning to get their paperwork approved and prove eligibility — is down slightly, but is still 900,000. While these are still claims sitting in limbo, EDD says they don’t consider this part of the backlog. The agency puts the onus for these on the people applying for benefits.
Some $11 million in the budget would provide direct deposit of unemployment funds, rather than the requirement of a Bank of America debit card.
This proposal jumps off one of a number of reform bills pushed by the legislature in the wake of two scathing audits of California’s troubled Employment Development Department. Part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget that he unveiled Friday includes an attempt to help consumers with unemployment benefits.
This comes as new rounds of eligibility were approved as part of President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan that extends benefits in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. KCRA 3 Investigates continues to get emails and calls from people who either cannot get through the phone system or cannot get through the verification system with ID.me.
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