The Employment Development Department has temporarily stopped accepting new unemployment applications, the state said Sunday. The pause will allow the agency to make improvements to its UI Online system that will make payments quicker and easier, reduce fraud and tackle backlog issues.
Officials said the two-week reset period will not affect existing claims.
The EDD currently has a backlog of nearly 600,000 residents who have applied for unemployment benefits more than three weeks ago and are waiting for the claims to be processed. And there are an estimated 1 million cases where employees received payments but then modified their claim and are now waiting for a resolution, the state said.
Starting today, we're making improvements to UI Online and cannot accept new unemployment applications. Existing claims will not be impacted. If you would like to be notified when you can file a new unemployment claim online, visit https://t.co/YcU1yA9fq1.
— EDD (@CA_EDD) September 20, 2020
New applications will be accepted again starting Oct. 5. Individuals with existing claims will still be able to use their UI Online account to certify for benefit payments every two weeks, re-opening a claim if need be after a break in benefits, and monitoring their claim activity and payments.
Those who go online to apply for unemployment before Oct. 5 will be redirected to a temporary site where they can submit their personal information until the UI Online system has been updated.
According to the state, new claims will be backdated to cover the reset period, claimants will be able to certify their benefits more quickly, resulting in eligible claimants receiving their first payment within the 21 days as if they had submitted their claim during the reset period.
– Staff reports
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