SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's unemployment benefits agency says "intermittent issues” on its website over the weekend caused delays for some people who were trying to certify their eligibility to continue receiving checks.
People who receive unemployment benefits must certify every two weeks that they are still eligible. They do this by logging into the Employment Development Department's website. But beginning on Sunday, the department said some people “encountered intermittent issues with the system.”
A statement from the department said even with the problems, more than half a million people were able to certify their eligibility since then. The department said anyone who hasn't been able to certify should “check back a little later.” Other areas of the website, including applications for unemployment insurance or state disability insurance, “are otherwise working fine,” the department said.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the department said in an email responding to an inquiry from The Associated Press. “EDD's Information Technology team continues to work on resolving the issue to mitigate impacts.”
Since the pandemic began last March, California has processed more than 21 million unemployment claims and paid out $130 billion in benefits. But the department has had multiple problems, causing delays for legitimate claims while processing fraudulent payments.
The most recent problems with the website incensed some Republican lawmakers on Monday, who blasted the department for continuing to have issues a year into the pandemic. Republican state Senate Leader Scott Wilk said the department under Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration “has continued to fail.”
Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a Republican from Fresno, said said he believes technical disruptions have been happening for a longer period of time. He said Monday he plans to ask the department for a "full report on the outages in the past three months.”
“Excuses are no longer accepted. This has gone on far too long, and I insist that they come clean,” Patterson said.