If California wants to increase unemployment insurance benefits to help workers cope with the economic fallout from the new coronavirus, the higher payments could be delayed up to a year because the state employment department isn’t prepared for the job.
A new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found the information technology systems at California’s Employment Development Department, which adminsters unemployment benefits, are limited in what they can currently do.
“Due to the limitations of (the Employment Development Department’s) current information technology systems, changing (unemployment insurance) benefit levels—for instance, by increasing the maximum weekly benefit amount or setting a minimum weekly benefit floor—could take as long as a year to implement,” the analysts wrote.
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