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Senators question EDD on wait times, backlog, and new identity verification system | Dollars and Sense

In a committee hearing Wednesday morning, senators question EDD on wait times, backlog, and a new identity verification system, ID.me.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In a committee hearing Wednesday morning, senators questioned the Employment Development Department (EDD) on wait times, backlogs, and a new identity verification system: "ID.me."

Sen. Richard Pan said he heard from people on their frustrations on trying to get a hold of someone from EDD.

“We had heard from people who had called over and over and over again and couldn’t get through. And then when they would show up at an EDD office they were told that they cannot be helped and were told they should call again,” Pan said.

EDD said they’re trying to improve some of the issues through their new ID.me identification system.

ID.me is a system to help stop fraudulent claims by asking people to verify their identity through a personal document or answering preset questions. ID.me started on October 5 after EDD’s two-week reset to help process backlog claims.

EDD said the system will help reduce the number of claims that need to be processed manually.

During Wednesday morning’s committee hearing, EDD said ID.me has been able to verify 70% of new claims with a high percentage of them being automatically filed within a day.

As for the other 30% that was not able to pass through the ID.me system, EDD believes a majority of that are likely fraudulent claims since only a small fraction reached out to EDD to verify another way.   

EDD says it is on track to end the backlog on unemployment claims by January 27, 2021. They are currently working on the oldest cases first, although they wouldn’t say how far back they go just that they are over 21 days old.

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