'Computer Glitch' Stalls 80K Unemployment Checks in California
If you are one of the many Californians currently relying on unemployment insurance to get by, this month you may need to CYA, thanks to a "computer glitch" that has fouled up getting payments out to an estimated 80,000 people.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) did a computer upgrade over the Labor Day weekend, but things did not go back to normal. Alas, "the new system malfunctioned, forcing state workers to approve payments manually. That has created a massive backlog snaring 15% of claims filed since Sept. 1," explains the L.A. Times.
EDD has been keeping recipients abreast using social media (though you have to click through to Facebook to get the actual apology):
The EDD is also having trouble filling their coffers, thanks to federal budget cuts, which has affected services. "The agency no longer answers its unemployment hotline in the afternoons, and its regional jobs centers have lost some funding," explains the Times. However, in light of the recent snafu, the EDD says they "are working around the clock and through the weekends to try and get these payments issued for the customers eligible and waiting for benefits."
The agency is urging more and more people to skip the phone and to do their dealings involving unemployment insurance online. That way, it's less manpower, more machines. "The more we can get our customers using the self-service tools we have made available, the more our limited staff can be available to take care of claims with more complex needs," says the EDD. Yes, that's right: They want more people to use the machines.
In the meantime, if this leaves you without your check, hopefully your landlord will accept the whole "computer glitch" excuse.