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California’s Unemployment Crisis: Fraud, Frozen Accounts & A Backlog Of Unpaid Claims

Californians have reported numerous problems receiving unemployment benefits through the state's Employment Development Department (EDD).
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Californians have reported numerous problems receiving their unemployment benefits through the state's Employment Development Department (EDD).

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing the ongoing problems with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). People have reported problems with the EDD’s call center, website and state-issued Bank of America unemployment debit cards.

State labor officials suspect there have been up to $31 billion in fraudulent claims. Meanwhile, at least one million Californians are still waiting for their payments and the state has run out of unemployment money. Why has the EDD system failed and what needs to change?


Lauren Hepler, reporter for CalMatters covering California's economy

Web Resources:

CalMatters, Lauren Hepler: Is California blowing it on unemployment reform?

CalMatters, Lauren Hepler: California's unemployment crisis, explained

CalMatters, Lauren Hepler: EDD, Bank of America make millions on unemployment

SF Chronicle, Carolyn Said: Getting EDD benefits can be a nightmare. It's a nightmare for the agent helping, too

Bloomberg, Olivia Rockeman & Reade Pickert: The U.S. Unemployment System Is Plagued by $63 Billion in Fraud and Dysfunction

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.