Unemployment benefits delayed by EDD system glitch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Unemployment benefits to thousands of Californians were delayed after the Employment Development Department started a new payment process. EDD says the problem has been fixed, and most people got their payments by Tuesday.

Eyewitness News has investigated complaints about EDD for months and got contacted by viewers who said they heard many people missed getting benefits.

EDD said it launched a new internal system for unemployment insurance over the Labor Day weekend, and that caused the problem.

"As with any major infrastructure upgrade, the EDD is working through transition issues of converting claims to the new system," a spokeswoman responded by email on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, about 20,000 claims, or about 5% of our certification workload experienced interruptions in processing."

The spokeswoman said staff worked through the weekend to resolve the problem.

"More than 12,000 claims have now been cleared for payment and the majority of those were posted to customers' EDD Debit Cards on Saturday morning," the spokeswoman said in an email. "The remainder were posted this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 10."

Eyewitness News heard from viewers who said the delay in benefits meant their rent or power bills were now overdue.

EDD said about 8,000 customers are still waiting for payments. The spokeswoman said those are claims that have "pending eligibility issues," and customers would be notified about the next steps to take. They said there's no need to resubmit certification or reapply for benefits.

"While we are working overtime to resolve the issue, we encourage any claimant who does not hear from EDD within the required ten days of submitting their certification for benefits to email us through AskEDD," their statement reads.

The EDD spokeswoman said the glitch in the system affected 5 percent of their claims.

"Again, we do understand how important (unemployment insurance) payments are to our customers," the spokeswoman concluded in the email. "And we apologize for the inconvenience to those affected."