SACRAMENTO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A new strike team is set to bring change at the state’s Employment Development Department, or EDD, according to the governor’s office Wednesday.
The announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom also includes a renewed focus on unpaid claims.
“There should be no barriers between Californians and the benefits they have earned,” said Newsom.
“Unprecedented demand due to job loss during this pandemic paired with an antiquated system have created an unacceptable backlog of claims.”
According to the governor’s office, the EDD will streamline communications to resolve the backlog in claims, focusing on the oldest claims first and working to eliminate actionable claims by the end of September.
The strike team will identify how to improve the customer experience and will be supported by the California Department of Technology and the Office of Digital Innovation.
The strike team will be headed by Government Operations Agency Secretary Yolanda Richardson and Jennifer Pahlka, who co-founded the United States Digital Response, the United States Digital Service, and founded the Code for America.
Fresno-area Assemblymember Jim Patterson has been pushing for improvements to the EDD since the pandemic prompted a backlog of claims.
In a statement, Patterson says it is up to lawmakers to ensure action to improve the department is followed through.
Governor Newsom has become notorious for his words – not his actions. It’s our responsibility in the Legislature to not only hold the EDD accountable, but the Governor as well. I will continue to do both on behalf of the people of California.Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno)