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Coronavirus Unemployment: Did EDD Make Misleading Payment Claims To Lawmakers?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Employment Development Department told lawmakers it has paid more than 4.8 million people so far, but CBS13 has now confirmed that many of those people are still waiting for unemployment payments.

On Wednesday, lawmakers sent a letter to the governor, demanding systemic reforms at the EDD. The 11-page letter, signed by 60 California legislators, cited the more than 1 million people that EDD estimates still haven't been paid. However, CBS13 has learned there may be thousands more who are still waiting for payments.

READ ALSO: CBS13 Investigates: EDD Grilled Over Unemployment Failures In Legislative Hearing

Ahead of last week's EDD Assembly hearing, the agency finally released payment data that indicated 1.12 million people are still waiting for an unemployment payment and 4.8 million people have already received their payments from the EDD.

However, CBS13 has now confirmed that there are many more Californians who are still waiting for payments as the EDD counted people "who received at least one payment" as "paid."

CONTINUING COVERAGE: CBS13 Investigates Coronavirus Unemployment

CBS13 has heard from hundreds of people who say after receiving their first unemployment payments, the rest of their claims were listed as pending and remained unpaid. Claimants said they were owed between $2,700 and $8,000 after getting their first unemployment payments. The EDD now acknowledges those people are among the claimants the agency counts as "paid."

The self-employed, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filers, are also among that group. They had to wait seven weeks for the EDD to program its computers before they could even apply.

They were supposed to be paid for the weeks they had to wait, and receive retroactive pay dating back to the date that their businesses shut down amid the pandemic. However, hundreds told us their claims were never backdated and EDD representatives refused to fix the error, accusing them of making typos and entering the wrong date of unemployment. 

ALSO READ: EDD Acknowledges Staff May Be Responsible For Costly Date Errors

Following a CBS13 investigation, the EDD acknowledged staff errors were likely to blame and the agency rolled out an online option to help expedite their back-pay. Weeks later, many people tell us they are still waiting for that money. The EDD acknowledges those people are also among the claimants that it counts as "paid."

The EDD confirmed Wednesday that if someone received "at least one payment" they were included in the 4.8-million-people-paid statistic. The agency said couldn't tell us how many of those 4.8 million people have actually been paid in full.

Follow our continuing coverage as CBS13 works to get answers to your Coronavirus Unemployment Questions: 

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment

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