Newsom: EDD expected to eliminate unemployment backlog by September

Marco Green
August 1, 2020

Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday the launch of a "strike team" of technologists, including Code for America and U.S. Digital Response founder Jennifer Pahlka, to modernize the state's backlogged unemployment systems.

But state lawmakers this week once again pleaded for state action, saying the recent end of supplemental federal unemployment insurance had left some of their constituents in desperate straits and that it was unacceptable to have a backlog of almost 1 million claims.

The latest data comes as lawmakers have all but closed the door on extending the supplemental unemployment benefits that have helped tens of millions of Americans keep their heads above water since layoffs began in March.

Representatives with the EDD say those claims are still being processed after a tidal wave of claims hit the department when the coronavirus shut down the state's economy. The team will also suggest ways for the EDD to process almost 1 million unemployment claims that may be eligible for benefits by September, with a focus on processing the oldest claims first. Another 830,000 people applied to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits for self-employed and gig workers, bringing the weekly total to well over 2 million. According to a press release, the EDD aims to eliminate the backlog by the end of September.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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