Month after month, local residents like Jon Barrist have waited to see if their unemployment payment status will change.
Jon says he’s collecting debt as he waits for his claim to process, and is concerned about paying the bills.
“I’m at 18 weeks right now of nothing. I’m hoping that I don’t get to the point where I have to sell the home. I always worry about that,” said Jon Barrist, a Palm Springs resident.
Over one million Americans haven’t received their full unemployment payment, and for the next two weeks, the department will not be accepting new applications.
Instead, at the direction of Gov. Newsom’s strike team, the EDD will be implementing new ID verification software, working through hundreds of thousands of old claims, and increasing staff.
“I didn’t want to wait another day to start this reset period to get this system back on its feet and get us in a position where we can address the significant number of backlog cases,” said Gov. Newsom.
But, some local politicians are unhappy about the temporary pause.
They say the equipment and fraud issues should have been handled months ago.
In a statement, Sen. John Moorlach says, “This is unacceptable. The abuse of California’s unemployed must end. For the EDD to halt new claims means more unneeded suffering.”
During the two week reset, Jon Barrist expects to not receive any payments, but says he’s trying to remain optimistic.
“I’m hoping that it’s a good thing that they’ve finally realized it’s time to upgrade these antiquated systems and that once it’s done the money will start to flow,” said Barrist.
New claims can be filed again after Oct. 5.
The EDD says their goal is to have all backlogged claims paid by January.
In the meantime, experts advise those waiting for unemployment payments to reach out to their local representatives like Asmb. Chad Mayes, who has a staff member who exclusively deals with EDD issues.