As summer transitions into fall during this unprecedented year of 2020, there are still millions of unemployed Americans desperate for financial assistance as they search for ways to stay afloat. Earlier this week in California, the State announced that the employment development department (EDD) will not be accepting new unemployment claims for the next two weeks. This is due to a large backlog of claims that have been compounding over the last few months.
This pause in claim fulfillment stemmed from an investigation conducted by a strike team appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The team found that at least 600,000 workers were still waiting to receive benefits that they had applied for 3 weeks prior. Furthermore, they concluded that the number of these backlogged claims rises by 10,000 each day. They estimate that this backlog may not be cleared until as late as January 2021.
Many citizens are relying on these benefits to pay their bills and provide for their families. When the strike team’s report was released, they noted that the State is failing these Californians who qualify but are not receiving the benefits they are entitled to.
Governor Newsom recently defended the EDD’s efforts, stating that the agency is working to implement processes that will allow claims to be addressed in a timelier manner. He stated that the delays were caused by a 30-year-old technology that could not handle the overwhelming amount of unemployment claims that were filed since the start of the pandemic. As of now, there is no specific timeline for when these issues will be resolved.
Resources for Unemployed Californians
The EDD does provide a list of additional resources to help those who have been unable to receive unemployment benefits, or for those whose unemployment benefits are still not enough. These include:
- Basic Necessities Assistance: known as e-Benefits California, the site connects you to applications for Medi-Cal, County Medical Services Program (CMSP), CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps), and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) benefits in California.
- Food Assistance: Including CalFresh, California Association of Food Banks, Free Summer Lunch Programs, School Meals, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
- Medical Care and Healthcare Coverage: Including Covered California™, Covered California for Small Business, County Medical Services Program, Community Health Clinics, and COBRA
- Credit Card Debit Relief: ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
- Low Cost Car Insurance: California Department of Insurance
- Housing and Utilities Assistance: Including Housing and Urban Development, Department of Community Services and Development, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and CalCAPA
To review the full list of resources, visit edd.ca.gov.
If you are unemployed and looking for work, consider working with America’s Job Center. You can find a location near you by visiting careeronestop.com.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH), mediator, and arbitrator in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela also is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California company that represents the gold standard in dispute resolution. She also owns her own law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in workplace and Title IX discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault investigations.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.