As Job Losses Continue, Lawmakers Criticize California’s Unemployment Agency

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In this photo illustration, a person files an application for unemployment benefits on April 16, 2020. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 6 million workers have filed for unemployment in California since the pandemic began. California’s unemployment agency, the EDD, has  awarded $24 billion in benefits since mid-March, but many applicants have experienced long waiting periods and some have received no benefits at all. Last week, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle criticized the EDD, calling for an audit of the agency and for Gov. Gavin Newsom to intervene. We’ll discuss how California is handling the record number of unemployment claims and we’ll take your questions on unemployment benefits. 


Carole Vigne, senior staff attorney, Legal Aid at Work

David Chiu, represents District 17, California State Assembly