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What I found in the comments to our article about the California Employment Development Department

On Sunday, we published a news release from the California Employment Development Department about the launch of the second phase of unemployment benefits due to COVID-19.

The response went through the roof.

Because interest remains strong, I decided to go through the comments to find what kernels of wisdom could be gleaned. The results follow.

Please keep in mind that the population of people who left comments on this article is not representative of the general population, nor of the population of people who have tried to interact with EDD since March 2020. The results cannot be blindly expanded. But they certainly suggest that EDD has serious problems in providing efficient and timely service under current conditions, and that someone should be held responsible for fixing the problem.

General characterization of EDD: effective or ineffective?

According to my tally, those trying to work with EDD were eight times more likely to be unhappy with how EDD responded — or failed to respond.

A tiny number said that received a quick and efficient response.

Far and away most described being stuck in limbo and facing eviction or similar catastrophe.

Method used to SUCCESSFULLY connect with EDD

From my analysis, those who were sucessful saw their efforts work smoothly, usually through the online tool. If an initial problem was found, persistence paid off in solving the problem.

Method used to UNSUCCESSFULLY connect with EDD

Those who were unsuccessful at connecting with EDD used a number of means, from Ask EDD to the online tool to calling to regular snail mail to registered mail. Many reported trying multiple means many, many times — including requesting help from a legislative representative.

Some people received a notice unsolicited, or received a notice requesting further information. They responded and have heard nothing since.

Questions about unemployment or EDD

A goodly chunk wanted questions answered. Others tried to answer some of the questions, or made suggestions on “back doors” through the telephone or online tool.

Miscellaneous, including sympathetic and unsympathetic

Most of the miscellaneous comment were sympathetic and supportive. A handful were mean or spiteful.

My recommendations

Based on all these comments, I recommend trying to register as soon as possible through the online tool. When that fails, call.

See if you can get answers to your questions through Ask EDD or an alternative.

See if you can get help from One Stop or a veteran’s organization or homeless advocacy group.

Reach out to your legislative representatives, both State Senate and State Assembly. The State Legislature is busily making life harder for both workers and employers. According to comments from State Senator John Moorlach, the mess at EDD has been known for years. Instead of dreaming up new ways to make it harder for people to work or to squeeze money out of businesses and property owners, the State Legislature should be minding the business of running the State better.

Keep the pressure on your State legislative representatives and Governor Gavin Newsom. This is a failure of basic governance, a dumpster fire that the majority party in Sacramento is entirely responsible for. Hold their feet to the fire!

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