SACRAMENTO Dec. 15, 2009 - Today the state Employment Development Department (EDD) announced that checks have been issued and all will be mailed by the end of the day to an estimated 109,509 out-of-work Californians who have run out of all other available extended unemployment benefits as of December 5. Over the past weekend, EDD was able to automatically file new federal extension claims on behalf of potentially eligible claimants. Eligible claimants entitled to retroactive extension payments should see their first two-week check arriving in the next few days. EDD was able to expedite the benefit payment process in the extraordinary case of this new federal extension.
"EDD is committed to getting these benefit checks out as quickly as possible before the holiday because we know how vital this money is to those unemployed during these difficult economic times," said Patrick Henning, EDD Director. "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and thankfully EDD has been able to expedite the claims process and get these extended unemployment benefits out to those in need."
Benefits are being expedited on these extension claims as a one-time event due to the severe nature of the recession, the extenuating circumstances surrounding the complex programming of the Department's computer systems exacerbated by the eligibility requirements mandated by the federal extension, and the difficulties faced by many long-term unemployed workers who went without benefits for several weeks until Congress approved the new federal extension program.
Eligible claimants will receive their first check along with the next two-week claim form. Claimants are encouraged to quickly and accurately complete all forms and mail them back right away for weeks that have passed since the new federal extension program took effect on November 8. The first payable week under the new federal extension program is the week beginning November 8, 2009.
It's important to note, Californians must fully exhaust all benefits currently available to them before they can qualify for the new third tier of benefits approved by the federal government in November. As of this week, 109,509 claimants fully met the eligibility requirements to receive an extension payment this week. It's estimated that approximately 164,000 Californians will become eligible for the new extension upon running out of their current benefits between now and December 27, which is the current federal deadline for filing for any new extension of unemployment benefits.
Congress is currently considering legislation to extend the filing deadline of the existing emergency extended benefit programs. Claimants are encouraged to closely monitor the EDD Web site at www.edd.ca.gov for further developments on the filing deadline and other UI related issues. Claimants and other interested persons can also sign up for EDD Twitter messages for any further updates as soon as any new Web Site postings occur.
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