SACRAMENTO, CA - The Employment Development Department has hundreds of staff working through the weekend to clear the backlog of unemployment checks.
Loree Levy, EDD deputy director of public affairs, said employees are completing an expedited method to certify approximately 101,000 people and bypass the required process to release the checks and review the certification at a later date.
"We are making significant process with further payments issued last night (Friday) and the rest expected to be issued on Monday night," Levy said.
The final numbers will be available on Tuesday.
"The EDD is upgrading our 30-year-old payment processing system," Levy said. "The good news is that the new system is working and 83 percent of all certifications for ongoing benefits we receive from our claimants are being processed within the week we receive them - the majority of them on the same day."
The conversion of the system caused the interruption in payments for thousands of people who filed claims.
Levy said the expedited process will only apply to claimants who have already established a claim and filed their certifications for ongoing benefits between Labor Day weekend and Sept. 21. That is an estimated 101,000, with 40,000 impacted by the backlog.
"We are not behind on the remaining claimants, but we don't want to be either," Levy said. "So we are including them in this effort."
Anyone who is found to be ineligible for the benefits will be required to reimburse payments received, however, EDD does not anticipate a high number of people to be determined ineligible.
Payments have already begun and are expected to continue though Monday night.
"Our goal is to liquidate this backlog of certifications for all but a very few of the most complex cases through the extra work being dedicated over the weekend," Levy said.