Scott Wilk calls for audit of state employment agency
‘Inexcusable delays’ in distributing benefits
OW Staff Writer | 7/10/2020, midnight
State Sen. Scott Wilk (21st District) is calling for an audit of the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to clarify what is causing the inexcusable delays in distributing unemployment benefits to people whom, in some cases, applied months ago. The legislators submitted a request for the audit to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
“My staff has been working round the clock to help constituents navigate a completely broken system. These delays are jeopardizing millions of Californian’s ability to put food on the table and a roof over their heads,” said Wilk. “I am personally tired of bureaucratic excuses and want to find out exactly what the heck is going on over there.”
In April, Wilk and Senate Republicans submitted a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting immediate steps be taken to drastically improve EDD’s claim time. By all reports, the situation has actually gotten worse. The agency is months behind processing claims.
“There have just been too many missteps from misleading information on extended phone times, to computer problems that have plagued the agency for twenty years without resolution,” said Wilk. “This has been incredibly frustrating. I can’t tell you how many calls and emails we get from folks who literally don’t know where their next meal will come from but have been waiting months to hear from EDD. EDD’s response to legislator complaints has been completely tone deaf. This audit will shed some light on what is going on.”
The audit request includes questions on technology updates, statistics on pending vs closed cases, length of time cases have been open, status of $30 million technology upgrade. Recent news reports, as well as what legislative offices are experiencing, have cast doubts on EDD’s claims that processing times and customer service is improving.