A vast backlog of California unemployment claims is below 900,000 for the first time since government-ordered business shutdowns to combat the coronavirus began — but state officials may need months to free the bottleneck.
The state Employment Department has whittled away a mammoth backlog of unemployment claims in California, but a staggering number of workers languish in EDD limbo waiting for the government agency to pay or resolve the jobless claims.
The current EDD backlog of jobless claims totals about 890,200, as of Nov. 4, the state agency reported this week.
The Nov. 4 backlog shrank by about 55,900 from the bottleneck of 946,100 unpaid or unresolved claims that were reported for Oct. 28, according to this news organization’s compilation of figures released through a special EDD dashboard to track the logjam of claims.
An unemployment claim ends up in the EDD backlog total if it falls into one of two categories: an initial claim that has taken more than 21 days to pay or be disqualified, or a continuing claim for which at least one payment has been made but it is taken more than 21 days for the EDD to make the next payment or disqualify the claimant.
The current pace of fixing the backlog raises the question, however,
But some California workers say they have been waiting for months to be paid by the EDD.
One worker who sent an email to this news organization on Friday said the EDD has failed to make a first-time payment for 130 days.
Bob, which is the name the worker used on the email, reported he filed his unemployment claim months ago.
The EDD approved the claim, Bob was informed how much he would be paid, and he was given an account for the unemployment insurance payments and updates. That occurred around late June, according to Bob.
“Since then nothing,” Bob stated in the email. “Not one single check issued or a reply to numerous emails asking what was the problem, in over five months.”