CA Unemployment Going Broke?

It looks like CA’s UI program is projecting a $1.6 Billion shortfall by the end of 2009.

From the LA Times:

SACRAMENTO — — With joblessness at a 12-year high and expected to head higher, California’s fund for paying unemployment benefits is about to go broke.

The fund, sustained mainly by taxes on employers, is projected to be deeply in the red as soon as March.

And the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is alarmed that it may have to keep the fund afloat by borrowing from the federal government and using state money to pay nearly $100 million in interest over two years.

At stake is the stability of a 73-year-old program that began during the Depression. In July, California paid unemployment benefits worth $567.4 million and received 267,000 new claims for jobless benefits.

Under the program, eligible workers can receive maximum benefits of $450 a week, depending on their previous earnings. Benefits last as long as 26 weeks, and many out-of-work people can qualify for a 13-week extension, recently approved by Congress.

Unemployment checks won’t bounce, even if the fund goes bust, the Employment Development Department says. But labor experts warn that growing deficits could prove costly to employers, workers and the state.

According to the latest projections, which already appear optimistic, the hole in the fund could exceed $1.6 billion at the end of 2009 and $3.5 billion by December 2010 — unless the economy turns around dramatically.

You can find the most recent (May 2008) EDD UI forecast, where the pitfall was first projected here.

Wow, when it rains, it really pours. California can’t even pass a budget, let alone fix this any time soon.

My concern is that this benefit will either be reduced or unavailable to those employees who are no longer employed through no fault of their own.

Let’s just hope that layoffs/job eliminations are kept at a minimum until Sacramento can figure this all out.

114 Replies to “CA Unemployment Going Broke?”

  1. FYI readers….I was receiving checks for about a month then it stopped and UI sent me a form stating they wanted to give me a phone interview, like 5-6weeks from the last issuance of my check. When they schedule you the phone interview they don’t pay you all those weeks, so yeah…..your gonna be pissed and mad. Well I got on the phone and called UI dept…you know the 1-800-300-5616, finally when I got thru to a human being she told me she can’t set me a sooner date and to check back in a couple of days. That was like a Monday, so I called back on a Wednesday…same bullshit. I called back on Friday and a man picked up and helped me the best he could but he couldn’t schedule a sooner date but he did tell me that if I am going thru a hardship…which is like a 3day notice from your landlord, Smud bill getting turn off notice or Pg&e bill notice being turned off, as long as you have proof of your hardship, you can go down to your local EDD office and talk to someone there to get a same day phone interview. I immediately flew my ass down to the EDD office and gave them my proof and got my same day phone interview. And my check was mailed out the next day. Ain’t that a b-i-t-c-h though…..when you call the 1-800number to get a live person…these people don’t always tell you all these useful info. So for all you folks going thru what I went thru….I hope this helps……

  2. …. AAAhhhrrgg!!!!….
    I’m coming up on one year now…. I try and send out at least 12 to 20 resumes per week.. So it looks like I’m reaching 1,000 sent over the year.. This is driving my crazy!!!
    …AAhhhaarrgh!!… well, I’m done with my ‘unemployment sucks fit’ for the day… so It’s back to combing thru the job boards… All of you, try and have a good day too….


  3. We are so behind on our rent and bills now thanks to EDD. They owe us a total of 4 checks back pay. My hubby went through the CBT program for EDD and so they stopped his benefits while they determined if he was eligible. Then after he got approved he had to wait for a second phone interview to re-evaluate his eligibility. Again, they accepted him but still no check. What can we do??!!! We can’t get through to any real people =( Maybe it’s time California went on a strike against these jerks! They so quickly take your money from your check every week and you don’t have a choice but then hey it’s time for you to rightfully collect your money, they turn their back on you and you are just f$%$!!!! SOL! THIS IS SOOOO UNFAIR!

  4. I am so frustrated with the CA EDD. Has anyone been denied because of the phone interview rescheduling issue (the 1st step before being determined for the unemployment benefits)? My claim for the unemployment benefits was denied because I was not available for the phone interview.

    Here is the story: I was laid off on November 25, 2009 (right before Thanksgiving). Applied for the unemployment benefits a couple days later and requested to reschedule a phone interview at the same time online. Requested to reschedule because I was gonna be out of the country for a month. Next day I left the country.

    On December 11, 2009, got an email from the EDD stating that a phone interview was scheduled. I was confused how the EDD planned to have the interview when I couldn’t be reached obviously. On December 16, 2009, I emailed to the EDD asking again to reschedule the phone interview.

    On January 8, 2010 (this is when I returned), I see an EDD notice informing me that I had a phone interview scheduled on December 31, 2009. I was like what? So, I emailed immediately to the EDD about it asking how come a phone interview was scheduled when I specifically requested to reschedule it.

    Two days later I got another notice informing me that my claim was denied because I was not available. I was shocked! A week later (after trying to reach anyone from the EDD) I finally spoke with an agent where I was told that my claim was denied because the EDD had no information of my employment history in the state. FYI, I had been working in CA since 2007 and filed my income tax returns. The same agent explained that I didn’t need to file an appeal and should wait since another phone interview would be scheduled. Obviously, I missed the appeal date as of today.

    Today, I got a call and was told that now I have two issues that affect my eligibility. 1st: I was not available for the phone interview (which is dumb). 2nd: EDD has no employment history (which is more dumb).

    My frustrations are the following:
    -I emailed the EDD twice (way before December 31) to reschedule the phone interview. Today, I was told that I should have appealed when I had the chance. I was like “Are you serious?” As I mentioned before, I was told that I didn’t have to appeal and the issue was cleared. I learned that my disqualification is indefinite. How can it possible.
    The EDD received my rescheduling request on December 31, 2009, only. How is that possible? Emailed on December 1 and 16 and the EDD got the one sent on 16th only (it received on December 31). Unbelievable.
    -The EDD doesn’t have my employment history in the state. Seriously, I had worked for almost 3 years in CA, filed income tax returns, and of course paid income taxes.

    So, I am waiting for a supervisor call today. I truly hope that my issues would be resolved in my favor. Can anyone give any piece of advice how to deal with these issues? I only have one month of rent left to pay and, then I have nothing. I feel like kicking somebody’s ass now.

  5. I have been on UE for almost 2 years now and had some up’s and down’s. (I didn’t have anti-anything meds) But it might be your former employers who have opposed your claim. You might want to explore that avenue, and if contacting the EDD office on line is an issue, then do it the old fashion way “Go to the local office and speak to a person” don’t wait for an invitation. I see on the EDD page (unde news about extension) new extensions are in the works and they also define what is available to date…. it is all based on when you lost your job not how many extensions are due you.

    1. The Lack of employment history maybe contributed to your former employer having the wrong ss# for you when they reported your wages on their quarterly tax returns, (DE6). Double check with that employer and verify that they have the correct one on file.

  6. Once again new info…..
    Federal Unemployment Insurance Extensions
    (Updated March 12, 2010)
    President Barack Obama signed legislation approved by the U.S. Congress that extends the filing deadlines for a month on the four different federal extensions of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits currently available. This legislation did not add more weeks of unemployment benefits to the federal extensions. It only extended the deadlines for filing the federal extensions.
    EDD estimates that 200,000 to 250,000 people are running out of their current benefits and need additional assistance while they continue to look for a new job. Any new extension or next level of extension will be automatically filed for customers whose regular claim or extension has recently ended. Claim forms are being sent throughout the week of March 7, 2010, within the two-week time period covered by the forms so no interruption in payments is expected for eligible claimants.
    The current legislation also extends the additional $25 stimulus payments on each week of UI benefits currently being paid by the federal government. The impact on an individual’s eligibility to collect further UI benefits depends on when they started their regular UI claim and when they are set to exhaust their current benefits.
    On March 10, 2010, the U.S. Senate approved new legislation that would extend the federal extension filing deadlines even further, through the end of December 2010. The legislation would only extend the deadlines for filing the federal extensions. It would not add more weeks of unemployment benefits to the federal extensions. This legislation still has to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed by President Obama before it can take effect. Our Web site will be updated if further action is taken on this bill. Please closely monitor our Web site for developments.
    For the More Recently Unemployed
    For now, the current legislation makes Sunday, March 28, 2010, the deadline for filing a first federal extension of benefits, once a regular UI claim runs out. So once someone runs out of their state UI benefits (up to 26 weeks) they may then become eligible for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits in the first federal extension. Collecting any further extension benefits after that, if they remain unemployed and otherwise eligible, all depends on if Congress will once again push back the extension filing deadlines beyond Sunday, April 4, 2010.
    If Congress does not further extend the deadlines, anyone exhausting their regular UI claim after Saturday, March 27, 2010, will not be eligible to collect on any of the four federal extensions currently in place. Such a situation would apply to someone who started a typical 26-week regular claim any time after September 20, 2009.
    However, a separate extension of benefits may be available for those who exhaust their regular UI claim after March 27, 2010. California currently meets the threshold for a separate extension of benefits known as FED-ED. If California continues to meet the unemployment rate required to file FED-ED extensions after March 27, 2010, additional benefits are potentially available for eligible claimants once they run out of their original maximum of 26 weeks of benefits and remain unemployed. Learn more about the FED-ED extension program.
    For Those Already on a Federal Extension
    The current legislation pushed back the filing deadline for a second, third, or fourth federal extension to April 4, 2010. Anyone just completing one level of the extensions and needs to continue on to another level will be able to do so by this deadline. Those who exhaust any level of extension after Saturday, April 3, 2010, will not be eligible for any further levels of extensions unless Congress once again revises the filing deadlines.
    If someone may not be eligible for any further extension after April 4, 2010, it is possible the individual could become eligible for the separate FED-ED extension. Learn more about the FED-ED extension program.
    If the individual has already collected on a FED-ED extension based on his or her most recent regular claim, he or she is not eligible to file for another FED-ED extension. Therefore, the federal extension collected on or after April 4, 2010, will be the last one available unless Congress again decides to extend the current filing deadlines on federal extensions.
    For Those Currently on a FED-ED Extension
    If Congress does not take action to extend the current version of the FED-ED extension law, and California continues to meet the threshold for FED-ED benefits, a FED-ED extension may be reduced to a maximum of up to 13 weeks of benefits beginning Sunday, April 11, 2010. If this happens and a claimant is affected by this change, he or she will be notified by mail.
    Once a claimant has collected all available benefits on their regular claim or extension, EDD will notify the claimant on their UI check stub if further extended benefits may be available based on the current federal filing deadlines.
    In addition, since Congress could take further action to extend the current filing deadlines on federal extensions, you are encouraged to watch this Web site for further developments. You can also sign up for our Twitter messages so you are alerted as soon as any new information is posted on our Web site.

  7. Does the EDD contact my former employer everytime I file a new claim?Do they have to verify that I actually was laid off? If my former employer does not respond to the EDD does my claim automatically get filed and processed?

  8. I have been rec. unemployment checks since Jan 1st 2010. I follow all the guidelines and do everything EDD asks. I was expecting to get my check today in the mail but instead rec. a notice that I have a telephone interview for next week regarding my efforts to look for work. Not sure why this happening, I look for work every week and keep a detailed log. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this just a basic audit? The only thing I know right now is that the state of California is holding up my check and messing with me. Any help would be great. T.Y.

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