Management & Labor

California Governor: Pay Jobless Claims Now, Check Eligibility Later

With thousands of Californians still waiting for unemployment checks because of a state computer problem, the Brown administration has ordered the Employment Development Department to begin paying backlogged claims for continued benefits immediately – even before determining whether they are eligible for payment.
September 26, 2013

With thousands of Californians still waiting for unemployment checks because of a state computer problem, the Brown administration has ordered the Employment Development Department to begin paying backlogged claims for continued benefits immediately – even before determining whether they are eligible for payment.

 
Marty Morgenstern, secretary of the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency, said Wednesday the extraordinary measure could eliminate a backlog of about 80,000 claims by Tuesday.
 
“I just felt it was an intolerable situation, and we’ve got to get people their money,” Morgenstern told reporters before an event in Oakland to celebrate Gov. Jerry Brown’s enactment of a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.
 
Morgenstern told EDD Chief Deputy Director Sharon Hilliard in a memorandum the previous evening that without such action “it is unlikely that the claims backlog will be reduced quickly enough to respond to the very real financial hardship now being experienced by too many of our residents relying on timely payment of their UI benefits.”
 
Morgenstern said, “Consequently, I am directing EDD to immediately begin the process of paying backlogged claims for continued UI benefits prior to a final determination of eligibility.”

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