California unemployment: State gets federal funds to pay additional $300 per week in benefits

Millions of out-of-work Californians will soon be able to receive an additional $300 in unemployment benefits.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Millions of out-of-work Californians will soon be able to receive an additional $300 in unemployment benefits.

The announcement comes after the federal government approved the state's application for funding for the Lost Wages Assistance Program.

The additional funds will be available for weeks of unemployment dating back to Aug. 1, according to a press release.

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The White House says it hopes to have a timeline for when people could get the money sometime this week.

Meanwhile, the state's unemployment agency is not answering 60% of the calls it receives for help as the state struggles to work through a backlog of more than 1 million pending claims.

Employment Development Director Sharon Hilliard told a panel of frustrated state lawmakers on Monday that California is on pace to have 3,700 people working in its call center by January.

That's compared to the 350 it had working before the pandemic. Hilliard said the state is receiving about 6.7 million calls a week.

The state has processed 10.6 million unemployment claims since March and paid more than $67 billion in benefits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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