Confusingly worded question causing unemployment benefits to be 'pending' for weeks

Alix Martichoux Image
ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Friday, April 16, 2021
1 confusing question causing major unemployment delays in CA
If you answer the question incorrectly by accident, you may need to do an interview to prove you're still eligible for unemployment. That can take weeks, delaying your benefits.

A confusingly worded prompt on the EDD's biweekly certification questionnaire is leaving some unemployed Californians with their benefits stuck as "pending" for weeks.

Every two weeks, those on unemployment need to recertify that they still qualify. The problem is with question no. 2, says EDD spokesperson Loree Levy.

The question asks: "Was there any reason (other than sickness or injury) that you could not have accepted full-time work each workday?"

Many people are responding "yes" to the question because there's a big reason they're still out of work: the pandemic. But you're only supposed to answer yes "if you could not immediately accept work for reasons other than the COVID-19 pandemic," per the EDD website.

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If you respond "yes," you may need to be scheduled for an interview with an EDD representative to determine if you're still eligible. That can take weeks, which may end up delaying your benefits.

To avoid making this mistake, Levy suggests people look at the questions on their recertification carefully, and click on the blue question mark icon if they need help clarifying how to answer.

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