SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California has become the first state to borrow money from the federal government so it can continue paying out claims for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

The Employment Development Department confirmed Monday that as of April 30, California has borrowed $348 million from the federal government.

“We are using every tool at our disposal to ensure people have the resources they need during this difficult time, and that funding is available to continue to meet the increased demand for these benefits,” the EDD said in a statement to CBS13 Monday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Unemployment: EDD Success Stories

As of April 25, the EDD has processed more than 3.5 million claims and paid $4.5 billion to workers in need.

The department said the loan covers the difference between what is paid out and funding coming in from employer contributors. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, no interest will accrue on this or any loan made to the state through Dec. 31.

According to the EDD, California also borrowed from the federal government during the 2008 recession and paid off the balance in April 2018.

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