More unemployment checks on the way after California clears about 246,000 backlogged claims

California's embattled unemployment benefits agency has cleared about 246,000 of its more than 1.6 million backlog in claims, which means more unemployment checks are on the way.

The agency said Wednesday it has started accepting new unemployment benefit applications after a two-week "reset" where it stopped accepting new applications and updated its technology.

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More than 3 million Californians are expected to receive lost wages assistance payments by the end of this week.

But Employment Development Department Executive Director Sharon Hilliard said the backlog won't be cleared until January and that some people have been waiting on benefits for up to five months.

"To be honest it's very hard for us to tell our constituents that we have 100 percent certainty that this will be resolved in the next couple of months given the track record," said Assemblyman David Chiu, a Democrat from San Francisco.

Hilliard said it will take that long to clear the backlog because "the work is very complex and complicated."

"We're very happy with the outcome and in fact we're even a little bit ahead," she said.

California has processed more than 13.5 million claims since March, paying close to $94 billion dollars to employment benefits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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