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About The Bay: How State Budget Cuts Affect Sick Workers

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Cuts in the state budget have hit a lot of people hard, but they hit especially hard when you're already hurting. If you're sick and off work in the State of California some federal under-funding issues could have a major impact on you.

Recently I had a viral or bacterial infection doctors couldn't seem to figure out. It really hurt and was uncomfortable for four weeks, but I'm feeling better now and back at work

But my company stopped paying me until it got the word from the state Employment Development Department, which would help pay the salary I wasn't getting.

"These are benefits that an employee pays into should they ever become ill; they have to miss work," said EDD spokeswoman Loree Levy.

You won't talk to her or anyone else in a timely manner when you start to get the ball rolling on your claim. I tried, but could never get through. That's because there aren't enough operators for the number of calls they get. So they cut you off.

A recording will tell you wait times of 7-10 minutes may occur if calling to speak with a disability insurance representative. I didn't get through to anyone for an hour.

EDD also deals with unemployment insurance. They've cut back hours for operators dealing with unemployment insurance.

How State Budget Cuts Can Affect Sick Workers

"We've got demand that remains twice what it was before the recession," Levy said. "However, our staffing levels have dropped far lower."

Luckily, I didn't lose my job and only got sick. Four weeks later, all the paperwork seems fine, but the state still owes me $2,000 dollars in salary I didn't get.

I've had to hit up my savings and I'm not alone. Getting sick in California can change your life in ways I never would have imagined.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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