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Mon Sep 21, 2020, 09:19 AM

California is pausing unemployment claims for 2 weeks

The state announced the two-week pause on Saturday, calling it a “reset period that will help expedite new claimant payments, reduce fraud and tackle backlog issues moving forward.”

Nearly 600,000 Californians are part of a backlog where their unemployment claims have not been processed by the state’s Employment Development Department for more than 21 days.

During the two week pause, the department will be implementing “ID.me,” a new identity verification tool to “fortify the application process against fraud” by requiring applicants to upload identifying documents and a selfie.

Officials say the new tool will stop scammers “much earlier than through today’s follow up process involving notices through the mail.”

This reset will only impact Californians applying for benefits for the first time. During the two weeks, those trying to submit a new unemployment claim online will be redirected to a temporary webpage where they can enter their information to be called back to submit a claim when the system is ready, officials said.

Those with already established claims will still be able to use their UI Online account to manage existing claims during the two-week pause.

AP/KTLA

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