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California residents missing EDD payments amid pandemic

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 02:00:45-05

As the California Employment Development Department deals with issues of fraud and works to confirm legitimate EDD recipient identities, some EDD recipients have had trouble accessing their payments.

Clint Synder said he was surprised to see he did not receive his usual payment.

"I went online to certify for my continuing payments like I always do, and woke up on Monday morning to find that rather than being paid, it was in a pending status and that's never happened before," he says.

Templeton resident Michael Hurley is facing a similar issue.

"There was no indication at all, no warning of any kind that this week was different from any other week and I completed the certification, looked for my balance on Monday and it wasn't there," he says.

On December 31, Hurley was sent a letter from EDD reading:

"You have been receiving unemployment benefits, but we have temporarily suspended your claim because it may be tied to fraudulent activity... you will receive further instruction from EDD on how to verify your identity beginning on January 6, 2021."

The EDD issued a response to the issue stating:

EDD recognizes the impact of this historic pandemic on Californians and is working around the clock to ensure valid claimants have access to the benefits they have earned while also protecting the integrity of the program. EDD continues to strengthen its fraud detection methods and apply them to new and existing claims to further reduce the fraud that has plagued unemployment systems throughout the country. Using the Thomson Reuters fraud criteria, EDD reviewed existing claims and applied additional industry standard fraud detection criteria, taking action on claims deemed highly suspect or fraudulent. In order to mitigate future fraudulent payments, EDD has stopped payment on those higher risk claims and has communicated to those affected that we will be requiring identity verification or additional eligibility determinations starting later this week before payments can resume. -California Employment Development Department

According to the California Governor's Office for Emergency Services, they have already indicted multiple defendants for fraud cases pertaining to EDD with more cases in the pipeline.

KSBY News reached out to the California Employment Development Department to ask when people can expect to receive their payments, but we have not received a response to that question yet.