EDD misclassifies Bay Area woman struggling to get benefits for 15 months

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A Richmond woman wants everyone to know she's not a number, but that's how she feels after struggling more than a year to apply for unemployment assistance.

Kristin Boatner first applied in January of last year.

She's still waiting.

"I've had no income at all. My savings got me through the first couple months, but that's it," she said. Her voice cracks under the strain of uncertainty.

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"Just the stress of like, not knowing if we're going to be literally homeless and a pandemic. You know. It's been a lot," said Boatner.

Her misfortune started when EDD somehow classified her as an employer rather than an employee.

Her calls for help went nowhere for 11 months.

"All I did was call until I connected with Mary in November," she said.

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Mary is a district representative of Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks. Wicks's office immediately cleared up the mistake of Kristin being classified as an employer.

But there would be another setback: EDD would not accept the transplants driver's license issued by the Tennessee DMV as proof of identification.
"I just can't. I just can't keep doing this. It's been so long, and you know, no income whatsoever," Boatner told us.

That's when she contacted 7 On Your Side. We then contacted the California DMV to get her an official California ID for non-drivers.

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EDD tells us it will accept the ID as proof of her identity.

Boatner has one thing to say: "I am a real human, despite whatever paperwork."

She's hopeful once she can get her California ID, that will be the end of her ordeal.

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