SACRAMENTO, Calif — Many of you have been texting our Dollars and Sense team regarding California's Employment Development Department (EDD) denying your unemployment benefits. However, there’s a good chance you can still get paid if you are qualified.
“I lost all my money,” Karen Chappone said, as she waits on her unemployment benefits. “It went off my card. My card got frozen. Everything just locked up.”
Chappone, an event planner, hasn’t been able to work and had to file for unemployment. She had to move away to save money and that’s when she said her account got flagged.
Chappone is currently in the appeal process. She’s currently waiting for EDD to forward her appeal request but hasn’t heard back.
The way the appeals process works is that once you get a denial letter you have 30 days to appeal.
The appeal must be in writing. You can find the official form on EDD's website or click here.
From there, your case goes to the board and someone from the field office sends you a notice of hearing. According to their website, currently, all hearings are over the phone.
“I’ve not worked in almost a year,” Chappone said. “It’s rough. I was supposed to be able to pay my rent this month and I couldn’t and I had to get someone to loan me money just so I could pay my rent.”
ABC10 connected Chappone with Daniela Urban, the executive director of the Center for Workers’ Rights.
She’s helped thousands of people through appeals.
“The general overturn rate is over 50 percent in favor of the claimant. And in cases that involve notice of determinations, finding people ineligible for benefits based on identity verification and they didn’t send your documents on time, according to EDD those are currently being overturned at a 92 percent rate,” Urban said.
Urban also says she’s seeing a huge delay in determination notices from EDD during the pandemic.
“It could be they need identification information or confirmation of wages or they’re waiting for you to certify for benefits and so there might not be a need for an appeal at all,” Urban said. “You might not be denied benefits at all. It’s just sitting because of a lack of communication between EDD and the claimant.”
Be prepared, the appeal process is not always the quickest. Urban said it can take 5 to 6 weeks to forward your appeal after you file it. However, if you submit an appeal in response to a non-appealable notice, it will not get scheduled.
For appeals that are accepted, the Office of Appeals will notify you of the time and location of your hearing at least 10 days in advance."
If you’re needing help to navigate through getting your unemployment benefits and the appeals process, the Center for Workers’ Rights may be able to help you.
If you have a personal or business finance question that needs an answer reach out to the dollars and sense team by texting us at 916-321-3310.