California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday a number of actions — including the formation of a strike team and a renewed focus on processing unpaid insurance claims — to assist workers experiencing job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Employment Development Department, or EDD, strike team will address a backlog of unpaid insurance claims by “streamlining” consumer communication. According to a press release, the EDD aims to eliminate the backlog by the end of September.
“There should be no barriers between Californians and the benefits they have earned,” Newsom said in the press release. “Unprecedented demand due to job loss during this pandemic paired with an antiquated system have created an unacceptable backlog of claims.”
The California Department of Technology and the Office of Digital Innovation will support the EDD, which will identify the path to updating the customer experience of applying for and receiving unemployment benefits to match the digital age.
Additionally, the EDD hopes to communicate with the California Legislature to connect with constituents, further improve claimant communication and clarify responses to common constituent questions.
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