As people continue to stay safe at home, the number of unemployed applicants continues to increase, some people are having to go through the unemployment process for the first time are learning how frustrating it can be.
NBC Palm Springs spoke to local leaders on what people should expect if they find themselves unemployed.
There is a lot of frustration as people go through the process of applying for unemployment benefits, some waiting days, even weeks before speaking to someone on the phone.
“In the last four weeks, 2.7 million Californians have formally filed for unemployment insurance,” explained Governor Gavin Newsom of California.
To apply for uninsurance benefits, one must apply online. People without access to computers who depending on the telephone face another struggle.
“We’ve tried faxing, we’ve called them for two weeks straight, every three or four hours I called them,” said Richard Perrone, resident of Desert Hot Springs.
Perrone decided to show up to the local Employment Development Department (EDD) office for answers, he was given a new number and was able to reach a voicemail, which he says is a step forward.
“First time that I got a voicemail, brings me a lot of comfort, yes,” added Perrone.
State and local leaders are working together to help ease frustration, increasing call center hours to help get questions answered.
“The governor’s executive order today is going to allow us to open up the hours of our call center so those of you seeking a live person to talk to get help will be able to do that much more easily,” said Julie Su, Secretary of California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
“If you are applying and you get a response with a confirmation number, you have applied and it takes approximately three weeks to get that turned around and you begin to see the first initial benefits,” explained Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia with California’s 56th District.
Assemblyman Garcia says his office is standing by to help applicants who already applied.
“If there are specific questions after you already applied and you’re not hearing back from them, our office is more than happy to directly contact the EDD agency,” added Garcia.
“I know they are overwhelmed, that’s why I’m not really upset, but it’s time to pay,” said Perrone.
The Employment Development Department will also be expanding hours starting Monday, they will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.