‘We’re going to get this right’: Newsom addresses unemployment reset period


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – For the more than 2M people out of work, Californians who have had to battle with the state’s antiquated system to get unemployment benefits, there is some hopeful news.

The changes are designed to rid the backlog of applications. The one downside, the system will be unavailable for two weeks. 

“We’re going to get this right,” said Governor Gavin Newsom during an online news conference Monday.

The governor confirmed changes are in the works at California’s unemployment development department.

A task force charged with reviewing the system found the EDD has a backlog of nearly 600,000 Californians who’ve applied for unemployment benefits more than 21 days ago, and yet their claims have not been processed.

An estimated 1M cases where individuals received payments but subsequently modified their claim and thus are awaiting resolution.  

“The goal is self-evident to reduce that backlog,” said Newsom.

To do that the state will not accept any new applications for the next two weeks, and during that reset will create a faster and better experience for those using the system

“40% of unemployment claims were going into a manual process, and by doing this reset we are giving them a 90% chance of having a faster experience. This is about getting a check in their hand much faster,” said EDD Strike Team Leader Yolanda Richardson.

While new applicants will have to wait two weeks to apply, the governor says that will not delay them from getting a check. In terms of clearing up the backlog of existing unemployment applicants, it will take some time.

“For the backlog, we predict by the end of January we will be completed,” said EDD Director Sharon Hilliard.

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