California Has Processed More Than 3 Million Unemployment Claims

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If I’ve done my sums correctly, workers have filed 3.3 million unemployment applications in California through last Saturday. So how far behind are we?

Critical financial support of more than $3 billion in Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits is flowing to workers who’ve lost their jobs or wages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, not including any estimated amounts for so far this week. The amount disbursed over the last six weeks ending April 18 includes $2 billion paid just last week alone, according to the latest official data from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Last week’s total includes the extra $600 in federal stimulus payments the EDD is now automatically adding to every week of regular UI payments between March 29 and the end of July. The EDD has also processed 3.2 million claims over that same period since the pandemic impacts began. The 533,568 claims filed in the week ending April 18 is more than a 1,000% increase over the 44,729 claims filed in the same week last year.

Unless I’m missing something, this means that California has processed 3.2 million claims out of 3.3 million applications. Obviously there have been hiccups along the way as the Employment Development Department opened up a second call center and ramped up capacity by redirecting more than a thousand state workers to the unemployment system. But for the most part, California has caught up.

Which just goes to show what can happen when you take a crisis seriously and ditch the partisan sniping. That’s what California has done.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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