By Julie Watts

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — CBS13 has heard from a growing number of people who say Employment Development Department phone representatives have been accusing them of making costly typos on their unemployment applications. Following a CBS13 investigation, EDD is now acknowledging its own staff may be responsible for some of those date errors. However, the agency stopped short of saying it would automatically correct the errors for those who may be impacted.

As we first reported earlier last week,  many self-employed Californians are complaining that they are only getting unemployment payments dating back to late April, around the time they were finally allowed to apply under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. 

ALSO READ: EDD Date Errors Keeping Self-Employed Filers From Their Back-Pay

Even though they have been out of work for months, and insist they entered the correct “employment interruption date” on their unemployment applications, they say their EDD claims indicate that they’ve only been out of work since April.  

Some have evidence, their printed application, proving they entered their correct date when they filed for unemployment. Still, they say EDD reps have been refusing to back-date their claims to the correct date, meaning they could miss out on months of the unemployment that they’re entitled to.

The filers we spoke with said they stand to lose anywhere between $2,700 and $8,000 due to the date errors.

“We’ve talked to probably close to 100 people on different Facebook pages,” Jessica Stanford said in a group interview with a half dozen filers. These date errors have become a common topic in the Facebook groups for people struggling with unemployment claims.

Adding to their frustration, they all seem to have the same alleged typos. Almost everyone who contacted CBS13 had one of two specific incorrect claim dates — either April 19th or April 26th.

“They’ve been lying from the beginning,” Stanford said. “They are trying to make us feel like it’s our fault.”

ALSO SEE: Continuing Coverage – CBS13 Investigates Coronavirus Unemployment 

Over the past month CBS13 has received a variety of responses from EDD ranging from, “we have always had the ability to backdate a claim” and “people can get assistance correcting an error via the phone,” to “this is not a system issue” citing  “individuals making errors on their application.”

But after our story aired and we heard from even more people with the same incorrect claim dates, we questioned EDD again.

Now, after one month, and more than 20 back and forth emails, EDD is finally acknowledging that EDD staff may be responsible for some of the incorrect dates.

The agency clarified Friday that the system automatically sets the claim start date based on the week someone applies. Then staff is supposed to backdate each claim to the date on the application.

“Staff have been trained to backdate PUA claims to the date the individual’s work was directly impacted by the pandemic, to a date as far back as February 2,” EDD spokesperson Loree Levy said in an email Friday morning. “If staff inadvertently forget to do so, the claim may default to a more recent date of when the claim is filed.”

In other words, when PUA applicants applied, the system automatically set their claim start dates based on the week they applied – which for most was the week of April 26 – the week the PUA application went live.

EDD staff was then supposed to physically backdate each of those claims to the date that the claimant had put on their application. In some cases, it appears, the EDD staff did not do that.

Levy reiterated Friday, “We have re-emphasized this process to all staff working on PUA claims.” However, the agency stopped short of saying it would automatically fix the issue for those affected.

We asked EDD if they would review and correct any claims with the April dates in question but the agency did not respond to our final email.

However, all of the people we spoke with on Friday, who say they cited this story to EDD phone representatives, were able to successfully get their dates corrected for the first time in over a month.


UPDATE  6/1/2020: 

After this story initially aired, EDD replied to our most recent email which asked, “Have you now instructed staff to go back and correct all applications by checking all PUA claims with default claim dates (of 4/19 or 4/26)? Or do PUA filers have to request the correction if they have an incorrect date?”

Here is the agency’s response:

PUA is a brand new program that staff have had to quickly learn and we have re-emphasized this backdating procedure with our staff.

When it comes to the backdating issue, there is a mix of staff not following proper procedure and claimants making a mistake on their applications.  To help, people can follow the process we identified for you before to write a correction on their award notice and send it to EDD through the mail.  As services continue to evolve in this pandemic, we’ve also established another process that claimants can use for requesting a revision in their claim start date, both for the PUA situation as well as for a regular UI claim if for whatever reason the claimant was delayed in getting their claim initiated after becoming unemployed.

On our EDD website, there is a feature called Ask EDD – a way of contacting us without having to wait to get through on the phone lines.  After selecting the Unemployment Insurance category, select the “Claim Questions” sub-category and then select “Backdate the Effective Date of my UI Claim due to COVID-19 (Ask EDD).”  At that point the claimant writes their request for backdating their claim to a new start date based on a date they indicate their work was impacted by the pandemic. This is a priority workload item for us and should not take several weeks to complete.

NOTE: EDD has previously stressed that when sending correspondence though the mail, applicants must send the letter to the address listed on the EDD notice they received in the mail. They cited people sending correspondence to the wrong address.

Applicants can also call the EDD call center at 1-800-300-5616 to request assistance, however many tell CBS13 that they have called hundreds of times and had no success.


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

CBS13 Investigates: Coronavirus Unemployment

Julie Watts

Comments (19)
  1. Barbara says:

    I have the same issue as these people to, I even sent in proof of my dates. How do I get this corrected?

    1. brian sevilla says:

      that happened to me… i was actually denied benefits since they hadn’t approved benefits for independent contractors yet. Either way it only dated back to the 1st week of April. I reapplied back in the first week of May and was approved right away, with the correct date of mid march. Not sure if that helps if you aren’t an independent contractor, in which case you should be able to email them and let them know of the discrepency if you can’t get a hold of them by phone.

  2. Monalyn Tarin says:

    I have also claimed UI and i was supposed to get p;aid for when the coronavirus shut down the state in March 12 2020 I claimed those weeks on my application. please check.

  3. Caity Wallace says:

    I have the exact same problem. I filed with a March 13 start date, my claim is dated April 26. I So far, there’s is no option on the drop down menu that says that.

  4. Jake says:

    THE INFO THE EDD PROVIDED FOR THIS ARTICLE IS NOT CORRECT.

    On the EDD website, the ASK EDD section includes the referenced “Claim Questions”, but there is no sub-category called “Backdate the Effective Date of my UI Claim due to COVID-19 (Ask EDD).”

    Also, they do not respond to messages. I have written multiple times since early April and have received no response. Their phone does not answer. It simply says they have too many calls and hangs up.

    Julie Watts and Editors – I’d be happy to share my experience for a follow-up article

  5. Barbara says:

    Jake, I just navigated through the “Ask EDD: and you’re right, no options for “Backdate claim. I filed March and was approved in mid May, still no UI check and filed an appeal on the back date as well. Still can’t contact anyone on the phone and none of my emails to EDD have been replied to. No $$ coming in but the bills sure are!!! HELP!!

  6. chloiegirl says:

    This happened to me as well. I originally applied March 16 because my work had closed March 12. had to wait tot reapply for PAU when I was denied the first time. My new claim date is April 24, which means I am missing all the dates from March 12th of me last working. I have called a million times never get through.

  7. Janesays says:

    Jake – you are so right! I got my EDD award on 5/5. I am just about to certify my 5th week and no pay at all. I’ve also sent about 10 emails (through the online portal and through EDD in general), and no response. I have gotten through on the phone 3 times, and all times they couldn’t help and said I need to speak with a “supervisor” and promised one would call me back. I’ve never heard back from them. In fact, I was promised a call by 8:00 p.m. tonight and of course NOTHING. I finally sent a letter via Priority Mail today. I wonder if the state is taking that Federal money and not paying on purpose – they are probably collecting interest on it?

  8. Debbie says:

    I received my card with $324 on it For 2 weeks in March. I have received nothing else. They send me my weeks to certify, which I do and they receive them , but all 8 weeks are stuck in PENDING. I’ve emailed 10 times and have tried to call hundreds of times using every trick that’s been mentioned and every number and still can’t speak to a person. I did call my assemblymen who said they would help but have heard nothing from them. Any other advice????

  9. caity1031 says:

    I followed the instructions above for for ASK edd. This morning I got a response that they could not help because my claim was dated 4/26. It’s like Ike they don’t even dont even of the problem.

  10. I followed instructions to backdate using ASK EDD. After two weeks, received response they cannot help and my claim dated 4/26. I have proof my begin date on my application was 3/26. How can the specialized link to “backdate claim” not work. Missing a month’s benefits due to their error.

  11. Joyce says:

    For everyone who is having the problem emailing, no options for “backdate claim” items as described here, click on the link IN THIS ARTICLE. I was able to send email as described. Unfortunately, I received a response that simply stated they could not process my request to backdate my claim. So , I am trying to mail a copy of my original claim, and of course, am trying to call, but they are not accepting calls.

    1. caity1031 says:

      Same. I have emailed the reporter, Ms. Watts, as well, but have not heard back.

  12. Caity Wallace says:

    Has ANYONE actually gotten their back pay? Is there any follow up going on?

  13. Barbie says:

    Nothing here. I’m going to reopen my claim. This is unacceptable !!!

  14. After receiving 2 replies from EDD email using “ask edd” saying they cannot backdate my claim due to various reasons, today I received an email with I think what I have been waiting for? Email said “your claim effective date has been submitted. You will receive an amended DE429A by mail.” I must have submitted over 10 times on ask edd before getting today’s positive reply. Don’t give up everyone. Keep at it.

  15. Got my pua claim backdated and certified the missing weeks online yesterday. So the “ask edd” link does eventually work. Took over a month but keep at them.

    1. demetrius says:

      I’ve been trying for months now at first they said my information was incorrect now they say my date overlaps a pre existing claim which is lies because this is my first and only claim. was there anything specific you did the last time?

      1. Hi,

        My issue was the backdating my claim and i had proof they were wrong as I printed out my application at time of submittal. I don’t know about your situation? You could also reach out to your state assemblyman’s office to see if they can help you. Sorry, wish I had more info to help.

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