SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For the past seven weeks we’ve been reporting on the struggles and delays that people are facing while trying to file for unemployment.

While many filers continue to struggle, we’re finally seeing some successes. However, they have taken much longer than expected.

For weeks Labor Secretary Julie Su and governor Gavin Newsom have repeatedly insisted that the EDD was still paying unemployment benefits in about three weeks. 

But, CBS13 has been overwhelmed with emails and social media messages insisting that was simply not true.

After seven weeks of waiting, and five hours on hold this week alone, Sal finally got ahold of someone at the Employment Development Department.

He says they didn’t know why he hadn’t been paid yet, but now 47 days after applying, the substituent teacher and his family got their first unemployment payment.

“I would rather hear them be honest,” he said.

Sal’s not alone. CBS13 has had a steady stream of viewer emails from people struggling with EDD errors, denials and missing payments. Many, just this week, are finally seeing results.

“Don’t tell me don’t worry, tell me what you’re doing to fix it,” Karen said.

After 40 days of waiting, Karen’s still not sure if they “fixed it,” but she also got her money this week. She never did get ahold of a human at the EDD, but last week, the automated line said they finally deposited money and now several days later, her debit card has arrived.

Shay and Bobby finally had success after more than 700 calls to the EDD in one day.

“When I lost that call it broke me,” Shay said.

And after 42 days, Eric finally got an award letter from the EDD, though he is still waiting for the debit card to arrive so he can actually access his money.

Then there is Mary, and many like her are still desperate for help.

“It has an extreme effect on my health right now,” Mary said.

The grandma says the EDD stress is affecting her health and her finances. She lost her job of 20 years last summer and was struggling to find a new one when the pandemic hit, just as her 26 weeks of unemployment ran out.

“Now it says your account is locked,” she said.

People like her are supposed to be able to apply for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but many say they still can’t.

“I’m at a state of panic,” Mary said.

EDD published this news release Thursday, outlining how it plans to roll out benefits for people like Mary, citing a “complex web of eligibility requirements” that has delayed the rollout of benefits.

In a statement, the agency said: “The EDD has a dedicated team working to build the new 13-week federal extension of benefits established in the federal CARES Act called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Some workers who have run out of all of their available benefits will be eligible for this extension, while others may qualify for the new PUA program.”

We continue to hear from many others who are still struggling to get through to the EDD and some tell us they are struggling to even log into their accounts.

We will keep working to get answers for those still waiting for their unemployment.


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

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment

Julie Watts

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