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.

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.

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: 

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment


Julie Watts

Comments (3)
  1. Debbie Brown says:

    I filed the EDD application on March 21. I saw online I was “‘paid” for the week of March 22-28 and for the weeks of April 5-April 11. However, I have NOT received a check from EDD or a debit card and it is now April 17! That’s 4 weeks from the date of applying and almost 3 weeks from the first week I certified. I’ve written to EDD with no response. I have no other income. I’m so disgusted with EDD right now. I need the money yesterday! I wish I knew when I might get something the mail. Nothing seems to be amiss with my application and certification of benefits. This is beyond ridiculous!

  2. I’m a furloughed Marriott employee that has been out of work since March 16.I don’t have the debit card can’t call anyone to change my benefits to direct deposit because that option is only available once you loose your card.All my bills are pass due but EDD says I’m owed $2763 which will go up $2100 come Sunday.The news covers deaths,hospitalizations and positive cases but no one is talking about the thousands of Californians that did as asked and are suffering ,stressed and hopelessly waiting more than 5 weeks ,this problem could have been averted if adding direct deposit was added to our registration process or given as an option once your approved for payment.If my card doesn’t show up Monday night,oh the mail is two hours later these days, the money is coming just doesn’t work as an excuse.Thank you for getting the word out that the folks that did the right thing are suffering also

  3. Debbie Brown says:

    Yea, I finally got through to BofA on Thursday, April 23, and the lady there said my card hadn’t been sent out yet, and she would “start the process”. However, it would take another 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS to receive my card – which would mean almost 7 WEEKS to get my card and monies. This is terrible customer service!

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