Wilk urges state EDD to remain open 24 hours

Historic backlog in claims

OW Staff Writer | 7/31/2020, midnight

State Sens. Scott Wilk (21st District)  and Melissa Hurtado (14th District) have have submitted a request to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to issue an Executive Order to keep the Employment Development Department (EDD) phone lines and operations open and fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the delay in claims processing is addressed. 

"When our constituents can’t feed their families or keep roofs over their heads because EDD has failed to process month’s old unemployment claims, it is not a political issue - it is a crisis," said Wilk. "California is in a crisis and without drastic actions the situation at EDD will only continue to deteriorate; especially if the state continues on the trajectory of opening and closing businesses in response to the pandemic. If EDD doesn’t clear this up quickly, people will end up out of their homes and in the streets."

"The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented unemployment throughout the state. While the statewide average sits around 15 percent, parts of the southern central valley is upward of 24 percent," said Hurtado. "To address this extraordinary time in the pandemic we have no choice but to provide unfettered access to help process claims."

EDD’s long history of technology problems has been exacerbated by the surge of Californians applying for unemployment during the pandemic resulting in a backlog of claims, unanswered phone lines, glitches in the claims process and other problems.

As an emergency work around to the failed IT systems at EDD, Wilk and Hurtado have requested that the governor issue an Executive Order to keep EDD operational at all times until the backlog is addressed.