SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hundreds of thousands of Californians are fed up with trying to get help or even basic information from EDD. In the absence of clear communication, that job has been left to other individuals and organizations.
Ginny Silver is a photographer and that’s how she has made her living. Nowadays, however, she’s a very popular Youtuber who makes videos to help the public navigate the EDD quagmire. She got her start by making a video to show people how to file an unemployment claim.
“More and more claimants just continued to reach out, traditional unemployed claimants in addition to PUA," explained Silver. "So I just kind of kept creating the content because there was such a need."
Her videos get tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of views from a public hungry for information. Still, the peculiarity of Silver’s position isn’t lost on her.
“While I’m happy that I have a channel that’s done well, It’s really sad there’s a need, that so many people need this help right now and that they can’t actually get through to EDD to get answers from the source,” said Silver.
She started a petition to Governor Newsom asking for more help now.
“We need to have Governor Gavin Newsom address the issue right now, directly to claimants publicly,” said Silver.
She said EDD could make a huge difference if they could just communicate clearly.
“If they issue even just a simple statement to everyone’s inbox directly, weekly, it would make a huge difference. But they don’t. It’s published in the form of press releases. Twitter.”
Daniela Urban, the executive director of the Center for Workers Rights is well aware of the problems at EDD because she’s been dealing with them for years.
“I run the Center for Workers’ Rights. We’ve been doing UI advocacy since we were founded in 2014,” explained Urban.
She said lawmakers have been working hard to help their constituents.
“We’ve been working with lawmakers since their offices started getting calls at the same time we did, both providing training and resources on the availability of benefits and now more recently trying to get the laws changed so that we don’t see this crisis happen again,” said Urban.
She said The Center for Workers’ Rights can help Sacramentans where many cannot.
“Because we do have years of experience dealing with unemployment, we’re able to answer those questions and really provide directly assistance that really EDD should be providing but don’t have the capacity to do now,” admitted Urban.
Urban said she often reminds people of the hope that awaits them.
“When the benefits get paid, they will be paid retroactively. That’s the hope that I try to reiterate to our callers,” said Urban.
And she said people shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of community support in a pinch
“In the meantime, relying on your community and your community support is what we recommend. Talking to the food banks, homeless prevention efforts, filing for Calfresh.”
To reach the Center for Workers’ Rights helpline, the public can call (916) 905-1625.
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