New unemployment benefits on the way

Sep 08, 2020

New unemployment benefits on the way

In a timely celebration of Labor Day, California’s unemployment department on Monday began sending $900 in federal benefits to millions of jobless workers — about two weeks after the Golden State’s application to President Donald Trump’s program was approved. The payment covers three installments of a $300 weekly benefit retroactive to the week that ended Aug. 1. Workers will later receive a $600 payment for an additional two weeks of benefits. To be eligible for the federal benefits, workers must be receiving at least $100 weekly in state benefits and have certified their unemployment is related to COVID-19.

The two-week turnaround time seems to represent progress for California’s beleaguered unemployment department, which in August said it could take up to 20 weeks to process new federal benefits. However, lawmakers on Thursday approved an emergency audit of the department amid reports of fraudulent claims — even as another 1 million remain backlogged.

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