SACRAMENTO, CA - California's labor secretary has ordered the state's Employment Development Department to immediately begin distributing unemployment checks that have been delayed because of computer problems.
Marty Morgentern said in a memo to the EDD on Tuesday that it should not wait to verify whether people are eligible for the benefits before issuing the checks. Morgenstern said eligibility would have to be determined later, with any overpayments collected at that time.
EDD spokesperson Loree Levy said people who have filed claims, which are more than 10 days past due, will begin receiving payments as soon as Thursday. She said everyone should be paid by Tuesday.
The department said last week about 80,000 Californians had claims delayed after an error occurred when several years of old data were being converted to a new processing system over Labor Day weekend. Levy said that number is approaching 124,000.
BELOW read the memo sent Levy:
We've been working with all of you over the last several days to keep you posted on the very latest developments regarding our efforts here at EDD to clear a backlog of certifications for continuing unemployment benefits. That backlog is temporarily delaying benefit payments for some of our unemployment insurance (UI) claimants. As you know, the EDD has been working on every alternative to help speed up the process of clearing this backlog.
We've also noted that we continue to work around the clock to resolve this issue and tonight is no exception. Here is the very latest update as of late Tuesday night. We will work to get together the latest data as early as possible tomorrow and keep you posted. And as always, we will be happy at that time to answer any further questions you may have.
EDD Chief Deputy Director Sharon Hilliard has received the attached memo tonight from Marty Morgenstern, Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development agency.
Unemployed Californians are facing real financial hardship, and pursuant to Secretary Morgenstern's memorandum, EDD will begin paying all backlogged UI claims without any further delays.
Claimants who are part of the current backlog will begin receiving payment as soon as Thursday, September 26, 2013.
While EDD is temporarily waiving eligibility screening to immediately address the backlog, all payments will be subsequently reviewed and EDD will take the necessary steps to recover any overpayments if claimants are found to have submitted an ineligible claim.
The Associated Press and News10/KXTV