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Some Californians Have Gone Months Without Unemployment Benefits While Waiting For Extensions

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A woman enters a Los Angeles office of the state Employment Development Department. The EDD released dismal employment figures today, showing that 1-in-5 L.A. County workers are jobless. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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California’s unemployment office has processed an unprecedented number of claims since the coronavirus pandemic began. But those who’ve already run out of benefits are still waiting for the state to process extensions outlined in recent federal legislation.

Some Californians have now been going months without benefits, and desperation is setting in.

“It's not a comfortable way of living, knowing that there's a good chance you could lose everything in just a month or two,” said Richard Torres, a Riverside father who exhausted his unemployment benefits in mid-April.

California’s unemployment department has said it will begin automatically filing extensions on May 27 for those with exhausted claims, as long as they first started receiving benefits on or after June 2, 2019. But some may have to wait until June, or even July, before payments start to arrive.

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