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Unemployment benefits in California: how to track delays with new EDD dashboard

California's Employment Development Department has launched an expanded online dashboard which can be used to find out the status of your benefit claim.

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Unemployment benefits in California: how to track delays with new EDD dashboard
LUCY NICHOLSON REUTERS

California's Employment Development Department (EDD) is offering help to those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic with the launch of an expanded online dashboard which provides data about unemployment claims and payments, call center activity (number of incoming calls and calls answered) as well as other, related data. The new dashboard allows users to view the total number of new, additional and transitional claims within the state as well as those for individual counties. The Department has paid an average of 9.7 million claims a week since February 2021 and altogether, approximately $19.5 billion in benefits since the start of the New Year. The Bank of America however, recently claimed that it is likely that California paid at least $2 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits, around 2% of the total $110 billion which the state has paid out in unemployment benefits since March 2020, when a stay-at-home order caused millions of job losses. Around 640,000 accounts with suspicious activity were identified. It is hoped that the new dashboard will give transparency with California’s unemployment claims. Another major problem has been dealing with backlogs, which reached a pandemic peak of 658,565 on 27 September 2020, much but not all of that has since been cleared.

PUA claimants can certify to get new benefits

The EED explained that it is endeavouring to help individuals with their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims. Those whose PUA claims have run out will be able to claim for benefits starting from last weekend, 28 March - ahead of the previous target date of 10 April. It effectively means that 95% of the 1.2 million existing and exhausted PUA claimants are already able to certify to obtain benefits.

The dashboard also indicates the backlog of claims that have waited longer than 21 days due to EDD delays, as opposed to pending action required by a claimant. The Department’s backlog of claims currently stands at approximately 152,000. The database can be accessed for statistics and information, including downloadable data on various programs such as unemployment insurance (UI), disability/paid family leave insurance, job services, labor market information, and payroll taxes on the Quick Statistics Page.

The new Unemployment Benefits Data dashboard is available here. "We are committed to delivering unemployment benefits to eligible Californians as quickly as possible and transparently reporting this information to the public,” Rita Saenz, Director of California’s Department of Employment Development explained. “This dashboard generally shows information about the historic volume of unemployment claims and benefits paid since the start of the pandemic.”

You can view the status of your claim, certify for benefits, and get up-to-date claim and payment information by logging on to the UI Online tool, which is available here. You will need to register by providing your email, set your personal password and answer four security questions.