Thursday, November 7, 2013
Assemblywoman Gonzalez’s Statement on State Agency’s Delay in Payment of Unemployment Insurance Claims
SACRAMENTO, CA – (Wednesday, November 6, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, made the following statement after attending today’s oversight hearing of the Assembly Insurance Committee dealing with the Economic Development Department’s (EDD) delay in payment of continuing unemployment insurance claims.
“The delay in unemployment benefit payments that took place after Labor Day caused real harm to hundreds of thousands of California families who were missing out on their lifeline to pay for housing, food, medical care and other everyday expenses that don’t go away just because a paycheck is lost. The delay caused real anxiety and suffering among unemployed workers and their families. It’s unacceptable and it caused a real black eye for how Californians view their state government.
“This delay was triggered by a major malfunction that surfaced during an upgrade to the computer system at EDD, but it was compounded by an already-inefficient system that has for too long fallen short with untimely claims payments, draconian appeals processes, and a telephone call center that is too inaccessible to the public.
“I am disappointed in EDD’s slow response to the concerns of front-line employees as well as the lack of checks and balances in the handling of a vendor that has caused cost overruns and performance problems throughout the U.S. on similar projects. However, I’m grateful Governor Brown intervened to speed up payments to jobless families and I’m committed to ensuring that existing inefficiencies are fixed to prevent future delays and increase access to the benefits for which unemployed Californians are eligible.”
For background information on the unemployment insurance delays, read the Assembly Insurance Committee’s background report on the issue: http://ains.assembly.ca.gov/sites/ains.assembly.ca.gov/files/Final%20Background%20Paper.pdf.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County and including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. For more information, visit http://asmdc.org/members/a80/.