California to Pay Delayed Unemployment Benefits This Week

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The state Employment Development Department said late Tuesday it will begin to pay out all backlogged unemployment benefits as soon as Thursday.

filephoto Unemployment ChecksThe backlog of about 80,000 claims began when the EDD upgraded its 30-year-old computer system over Labor Day weekend with the aim of streamlining benefits processing. But the new system malfunctioned, forcing state workers to approve payments manually.

The agency has forced hundreds of employees to work around the clock to reduce the backlog, which has affected about 15% of claims filed since Sept. 1. Specifically, workers are checking claimants’ eligibility before either approving or denying payment. In some cases, more paperwork is necessary.

But the delay has caused tremendous hardship to thousands of affected Californians, many of whom have fallen behind on rent, car payments and other bills.

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