SAN FRANCISCO - The Employment Development Department is still cleaning up yet another problem that has delayed or denied rightful claims due to its own mistakes. Claimants are learning that when a year's worth of claims have been collected, they're terminated unless they jump through a bureaucratic hoop.
EDD says it was just a glitch.
Or, was it yet another goal line fumble?
As the first anniversary of the tidal wave of claims hit the EDD, some 180,000 Californians found themselves unable to extend their benefits past 52 weeks as is their right. EDD claims it was another infamous technical glitch, now corrected.
"There's been a number of technical glitches at the EDD," said now famous YouTuber Ginny Silver, a Sacramento wedding photographer, former UI recipient, but not an EDD employee.
So frustrated with innumerable EDD missteps and failures, Silver finds and posts videos for folks unable to get answers out of the EDD.
"When they went to file a new claim the File a New Claim button was missing and they rely online homepage and they had no way to do so online," said Ms. Silver.
We got posts and tweets after email about this problem. "You need to hit the button that says File New Claim," said labor lawyer and former EDD Director Michael Bernick.
Without that, thousands of people were stuck, waiting for their money, while EDD figured out how to fix the glitch.
Still stinging from previous criticisms, a much wiser EDD just produced a video on precisely this prickly subject.
"When your original claim expires, you will need to file a new claim," said one excerpt.
You will be or have been informed in three ways with a message on your final check, a banner message when you log in online and the benefit starting date on your UI online page.
"Don't worry about trying to figure out if you're eligible, just answer the questions and leave the rest to us," said another video excerpt.
"People are eligible for benefits beyond 52 weeks. In fact, benefits are extended with the American Rescue Plan through September 4th," said Bernick.
Federal law vastly lengthens PUA claimants' relief.
The video says, "You now get up to 89 total weeks of benefits which, hopefully, will be enough to get you back on your feet."
But be warned, watch your claim like a hawk for new glitches, mistakes or incompetence.
Again, from the video, "Make sure to look for any new notifications on line and respond promptly for any requests for additional information."
This will be critical to many if not most of the 1.5 million still unemployed Californians who will have real trouble finding jobs that were lost forever especially in small businesses.
"No significant re-openings; the number of openings are way, way down, over 38% since the start of the pandemic and small business revenues," said Bernick.
Ms. Silver says some of her YouTube viewers are still having problems with this.