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Wilk urges jumpstart to state EDD benefits

Letter sent to Gov. Newsom

OW Staff Writer | 10/2/2020, midnight
State Sen. Scott Wilk (21st District), in his continued advocacy for the..

State Sen. Scott Wilk (21st District), in his continued advocacy for the thousands of constituents still in the queue waiting for their unemployment benefits, is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to rethink the recent two-week pause on new EDD claims.

"We learned last week that the Employment Development Department does not see the backlog cleared up until 2021; which, based on what we have seen so far from the agency, may be a very optimistic timeline,” Wilk said. “That means some Californians may be waiting almost a year for what is due them. That is unacceptable on its own, but adding a two week 'pause' on new applications will likely make little difference in a 1.5 million case backlog but will definitely slow down newly unemployed people's ability to get in the system and begin receiving the help they are entitled to."

Wilk and colleagues from the Senate and the Assembly sent a letter to Newsom asking him to rethink the two-week delay and instead keep the agency fully open while the state works to right the ship.

"Legislators have been on the front lines since March trying to get some changes at EDD. At this point, the Administration's goal should be getting folks their unemployment and clearing the backlog,” Wilk said. “It is a big, multi-pronged problem, but we cannot lose sight of the priority - getting people their unemployment and doing it quickly. The problems at EDD are huge and will definitely require a big effort to be fixed."