Millions in California may get late unemployment payments from EDD

"If you've had one year of unemployment, you have to go back in and reapply. You can't wait for the EDD to remind you or call you."
Millions of Californians depending on unemployment money may now face new problems with payments a year into the pandemic.

State Assemblymember Jim Patterson expects many across the state to deal with a delay in payments because many people haven't been told they have to re-apply for their benefits.

"This issue is just beginning to hit the radar. If you've had one year of unemployment, you have to go back in and apply. You can't wait for the EDD to remind you or call you," Patterson said.

Fresno resident Kimberly Guerrero was laid off at the start of the pandemic and never experienced problems with the EDD until recently.

On Monday, she noticed a certification pending alert on her profile.

She tried to call the Employment Development Department but didn't have any luck after more than an hour.

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"About two weeks ago, I noticed my payments were getting in later and later," she said. "I wasn't able to get a hold of anybody at all."

After reaching out to Patterson's office, she was made aware that she will need to refile.

KFSN, ABC7's sister station in Fresno, reached out to the EDD about notifying Californians. The EDD responded: "If your benefit year has expired, you must file another unemployment claim. We will send you a notice telling you to file a new claim if you are still unemployed."

"I never received any notification like that," Guerrero said.

An employee with the company Maximus, who didn't want to disclose their identity, said they were hired by the EDD to help with 1099G tax form calls. However, most of the calls are people seeking help, more recently, with re-filing.

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Michele Evermore, an expert with the National Employment Law Project, answers questions from the public about getting unemployment benefits through California's EDD.



They said due to a software update, callers are temporarily being directed to an automated line that results in a dead-end.

"It's not right for these people to go in circles and say OK, will this be the time I get through? We wish we could train on the basic info so we can give that to people, they don't feel like they're out in the cold with no answers at all," the employee said.

The anonymous employee said the automated system is expected to start working again on Tuesday.

Patterson urges people to refile and to reach out to the state representative for their local area for help with EDD.

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Michele Evermore, an expert with the National Employment Law Project, answers questions from Eyewitness News viewers about getting unemployment benefits through California's EDD.

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