SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Unemployment checks started going in the mail starting Thursday for tens of thousands of Californians whose benefits have been delayed because of computer problems.
A malfunction when the Employment Development Department switched computer systems over Labor Day forced the agency to resort to manually processing unemployment claims filed since September 1.
“Since then we’ve had people working weekends, overtime, I borrow people from other agencies. We’re going virtually around the clock to get people their checks,” said California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern.
Morgenstern said the EDD has been directed to issue checks without first waiting to verify whether people are eligible for the benefits, in order to clear a backlog of 80,000 claims.
“We hope to have all of the back checks out by Tuesday,” he said.
The agency’s phone lines and Facebook page have been jammed with complaints from people falling behind on bills.
“People who didn’t get our checks, all we can say is, we’re sorry and we’re doing everything possible to correct the mistakes,” Morgenstern said, adding that the agency has been short-staffed because of sequester cuts.
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