SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A record number of Californians filed unemployment claims over the past two weeks, now many are wondering when they’ll get their first payment. CBS13 is getting answers.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) couldn’t provide CBS13 with the specific number of claims that still need to be processed, but the EDD is processing claims at a record rate.

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Are Relief Payments Bad For The Economy?

In a normal week, the agency says it processes 40,000 claims. Last week it processed more than 180,000.

However, that’s out of more than a million people who filed for unemployment in just a week and a half. Those numbers imply that the majority of the new claims related to COVID-19 hadn’t been processed as of this week.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: How Much Could You Get On Unemployment?

Even at the EDD’s accelerated rate of processing last week, it could take more than five weeks just to get through those first million claims. However, the EDD says it has increased processing even more this week but the agency couldn’t provide official numbers.

READ MORE: Federal Agencies Raid Roseville Home Of Former Sacramento Sheriff's Employee

Under normal circumstances, it takes an average of three weeks to get your first payment from the EDD after filing your initial unemployment claim. The agency told CBS13 that as of today it is still within the three-week time period and hopes to stay as close to that as possible.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Unemployment Help for the Self-Employed

While most unemployment recipients will get an EDD debit card with their funds on it in the mail, the EDD warned today that some may get a paper check instead for their first payment, in an effort to speed up the process.

The agency said it added a COVID-19 drop down box to the online application which is also intended to help them process applications faster.

Follow our continuing coverage as CBS13 works to get answers to your Coronavirus Unemployment Questions: 

MORE NEWS: Study: There Was No 'Mass Exodus' From California In 2020

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment


Julie Watts