EDD Payment Still Pending In California? Here's Why

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Apr. 21 2021, Updated 1:50 p.m. ET

The unemployment population for California's working residents hit 8.3 percent in March, with 119,000 new non-farm payroll jobs gained from the previous month. Despite the decrease, people are still having difficulty with their Employment Development Department (EDD) accounts, where their unemployment benefits remain pending.

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The issue with accounts being "stuck in pending" (as YouTube vlogger and Californian Ginny Silver says) traces back to a few key reasons. 

A lot of people are waiting on EDD payments.

According to the EDD, 21.7 million claims have been filed since Mar. 2020. They say that 89.1 percent of claims were paid within just one week of filing. However, their backlog is growing. As of today, 122,000 claims have been waiting for at least 21 days. Many have been waiting for months.

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There are backlogs in both initial claims and continued claims, the latter of which just means claimants who have received one payment but not subsequent ones. 

EDD gives three reasons for initial claim delays.

According to EDD, initial claims that are currently pending have been backlogged for one of these reasons:

  1. They're pending identity verification.
  2. They're resolving eligibility issues.
  3. They're verifying wages for the claim.

There is also the possibility that the application itself is still processing, but there are currently no individuals who have been marked in that category.

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And another three reasons for continued claim delays:

For those having issues with their continued claims still pending, reasons include:

  1. They're pending identity verification.
  2. They're resolving eligibility issues.
  3. They're adjusting the start date or benefits on the claim.

Is there anything you can do to get your EDD payment out of pending?

With all of these issues, one thing is clear. They're all issues on EDD's end, not the applicants. Many people are complaining that there's a lack of communication from the department, which is why the pending issue feels so confusing. "For the majority of reasons, the EDD does not reach out to claimants directly," Silver says on her YouTube channel.

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In a small number of cases, people may need to finalize their verification. From there, EDD can accept identity verification (though the projected time period for that step is still up in the air).

Additionally, EDD may have received a "stop payment" alert based on how you answered your certification questions. In this case, you'll want to confirm you answered all the questions correctly and didn't overstate your income or incorrectly state your job status and willingness to work. 

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However, if you said you cannot work (because of the COVID-19 pandemic) then that answer to the question may confuse the EDD system. It fits protocol for the pandemic, but California's unemployment insurance system has not necessarily kept up with needed technological updates.

If you need to contact EDD to resolve any potential issues, you may need to give them a call. However, be aware that they're currently only taking about 10 percent of calls, so you may need to increase how many times you try the line. 

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