Many Jobless Californians Not Receiving Benefits As EDD Faces Influx Of Claims

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Unemployed Californians have reported trouble with getting through the state’s call centers to get assistance during the pandemic, and the complaints are continuing to come in.

Laura Stewart, who spent eight weeks training to become a representative at the Employment Development Department, says she quit out of frustration.

Stewart is one of the thousands the state is trying to train in order to process the influx of benefits claims they have been receiving.

“The minute we ran into a little glitch, there was nobody there to guide us through,” Stewart said. “The stock answer was just to reject the claim and go onto another one and the rejected claims will be in the system for somebody to pick up.”

Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced the formation of a Strike Team to create a blueprint to fix EDD’s response time and called the department’s technology “antiquated.”

The governor’s office says there are at least one million Californians whose claims have not been processed.