BOB BARNETT, San Clemente

In reading the San Clemente Times story on California’s and the county’s unemployment-rate drop, I felt compelled to share some current realities about our state’s current Unemployment Insurance (UI) system.

The news outlets are only able to report on the number of people who have successfully been able to get an application “filed” with the state’s UI (online) system, not how many are actually “receiving” UI benefits, which generally only lasts six months, not the entire 12-month claim—that requires a separate state extension approval or Federal aid grants.

The effort to successfully file a claim can take several days/attempts. Once filed, it must be processed at two steps of the UI system procedure, “acceptance” and “verification.”

It can now take up to six months for the current UI system to process a filed claim to acceptance.

Once accepted, the weekly certifications procedures start, as well as a two-week waiting period and then the bi-weekly questions the applicant completes and submits.

It can now take about eight weeks or more for the start of bi-weekly submissions to be verified. Not sure if all eight weeks are completely processed at once and paid out or if two-week payment cycles start then and continue eight weeks past the benefit-completion date. Then auto-claim extension approval is required.

Not sure how claim-expiration will affect or delay deferred pay cycles if that occurs?

If an open UI claim is restarted or extended, it can now take up to six months to process the request, which can also cause it to expire.

The California UI department will then contact you to inform you of the approval or extension or expiration of your claim

At that point, one must apply online and go through the entire application process again, including the two-week waiting period prior to bi-weekly submittals.

This is all due to logistical issues, because California simply could not increase the state’s UI department resources fast enough, including the online servers.

Personnel-wise, there simply aren’t enough trainers to instruct all the new people, once the building, desks, terminals, etc. were actually secured.

There was nothing in place for an event like this.

I just mention this to and for those who have not already experienced it or realized what is going on with their claim.

Don’t rely on any system that was not designed to handle its workload.

Prepare yourself and look for options.

No one knows if the UI federal monies will be there or included for anyone who has not already received them, regardless of unemployed date or file date. So, don’t count on that.

That’s all I know so far; hope it’s helpful, not hurtful.

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