Roughly 1.6 million Californians could soon begin to see months of unpaid unemployment benefits finally reach their bank accounts.
Their arrival will be thanks to the state’s Employment Development Department’s task force initiative to comb through some 600,000 jobless claims that have been stuck in processing for 21 days or more. The EDD will also work to clear payments to another 1 million workers who received at least one benefit payment during the pandemic-induced recession, but due to various certification issues stopped receiving benefits without warning and have been waiting for months for the EDD to resolve eligibility and restore payments.
California’s task force report says outdated technology and staffing shortages are the biggest concerns slowing down benefits processing. Nearly 4.6 million Californians filed jobless claims between March and May — 2.4 million more workers compared to the peak unemployment level from the fallout of the Great Recession.