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Unemployment system delays

Valley residents are among the thousands, statewide, still waiting for their benefits.
Unemployed residents in the valley are among the tens of thousands statewide who’re still waiting for their benefits.  A system upgrade has delayed payments for weeks.  Some have been waiting for over a month.

Workforce Connection at Fresno’s Manchester Center is busy Monday morning as people try to find out why their unemployment still hasn't come through.  Florita Mendoza spent two hours on the phone with Employment Development Department, trying to get answers.  Money was supposed to show up last week on her E.D.D. debit card.

“I do get a little frustrated.  Even when you hear them [on the phone] you're like 'I finally got a hold of you,' just to hear it's going to take a little time,” said Mendoza.

According to the state, there are tens of thousands of delayed payments.  Over the weekend, hundreds of workers tried to clear a majority of the delays.  It says most people who are eligible to receive benefits will get their money by Tuesday morning.

51-year-old Michael Losurdo has been waiting a month for his benefits.

“When the government wants their money, they want to get it now.  They charge us interest and penalties. Now are they going to do that for us?” questions Losurdo.

After paying into unemployment most of his life, he's frustrated by a system that's not working when he needs it most.

“The food is dwindling and our bills are piling up and it's hard,” said Losurdo.

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