California To “Pause” Unemployment Claims For 2 Weeks


The Employment Development Department (EDD) Strike Team established by
Governor Gavin Newsom released their Strike Team Report and detailed findings report today. In response, EDD Director Sharon Hilliard sent a letter to the Governor detailing the immediate actions EDD will implement, including a two week pause period that will “help expedite new claimant payments, reduce fraud and tackle backlog issues moving forward.”

“I want to thank the strike team—especially Co-Chairs Secretary Yolanda
Richardson and Jennifer Pahlka—for bringing their expertise and critical eye to diligently analyze operations, write code, and provide tools to improve the claimant experience,” said Julie A. Su, California Labor Secretary. “While the issues identified are the start of a journey to reset EDD and bring about significant changes to process, systems, and culture, the work of the strike team marks a key turning point to re-focus and re-center the provision of unemployment insurance for the good of all Californians.”

“I thank the Strike Team for their expertise and diligence in helping us closely examine our processes and challenges during this historic pandemic” said EDD director Sharon Hilliard. “We agree with the team’s recommendations and have already implemented some of them and are quickly adopting others to help eligible Californians receive the valuable financial support they need.”

Currently, the EDD has a backlog of nearly 600,000 Californians who have applied for UI more than 21 days ago and yet their claims have not been processed, and an estimated 1 million cases where individuals received payments but subsequently modified their claim and thus are awaiting resolution.

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