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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39049
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My unemployment has become delayed because I forgot to sign

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My unemployment has become delayed because I forgot to sign a form. I decided to use the online service but my problem is that I am now four weeks behind. Also, every time I look at the website it shows that the request date keeps getting pushed back. At first it said "submitted on 11/29" Then 12/3. Now it says todays date and that I cannot expect payment for 10 days from said date! There is just no calling these people as their recording even says to call back later, but every time I call I get the same recording. There are no offices in town so I sent a certified letter and made an attempt to contact them via email. Can someone please tell me how I can get back on track? One thing that might have messed it up was that I sent the paper form in with the signature as well as using the webcert. In any event I really need to solve this problem. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX

EDD is "buried" with unemployment claims -- and the offices are understaffed, due to state budget complaints. The passage of Proposition 30 will probably result in the addition of new unemployment benefit officers -- but, at the moment, you are, as the old saying goes: "fighting city hall" trying to expedite your claim and benefit payments, because there is no one on the other side of the transaction that can handle your claim any faster than it's being handled already.

That said, if you want to try to push, then you could file an appeal with EDD using form DE1000M. You would explain that your appeal is intended to expedite your claim, which appears to have been delayed based on the facts that you have described in your question.

The administrative law judge (ALJ) may reject your appeal, however, the judge may also make a couple of phone calls, just to see what's happening, and that could scare some of the EDD personnel into moving your claim to the top of the queue.

That's about the only thing that you can do at this point.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I gave you the top rating but please clarify something for me. This form you gave is regarding appeals. In my case, they have not done anything as far as turning me down. In fact, they have agreed to pay me but all has gotten out of whack after a forgot to send a form. If this internet clich goes on it looks like I will never get paid. Again today it says it was submitted today on the online webcert page. Tomorrow it will say tomorrow's date and so on as well as "allow 10 days from date of submission for payment....." yada yada yada. If this gets ridiculous, can I sue them in small claims court?

The form is for appeals, which is what I previously explained. The point is that there is no way to get past the bureaucracy without trying something novel. Appeals go to an administrative law judge (ALJ). You are appealing the failure of EDD to decide your claim status, which you can infer from inaction as a tacit denial of benefits.

There is no statutory provision for this sort of process, however, I believe that a thorough explanation on the DE1000M form may get you a hearing -- and even if it does not, it may cause the ALJ to contact EDD internally and tell them to get off their butts and handle the claim, or the ALJ will entertain the appeal from EDD's tacit denial of benefits.

The reason for this approach is that the alternative would be vastly more costly and time consuming. In theory, you could sue EDD in small claims court, but unless and until your benefit status is determined, you wouldn't know the amount to claim as damages for the administrative negligence. And, if small claims ruled in your favor, the most it can award is $10,000, which may not be as much as your UI claim would pay.

And, the small claims judge could decide that what you are really seeking is "declaratory relief," which is not permitted in small claims. Then, you would have to bring a petition for a writ of mandate in Superior Court (which is how the court reviews agency decisions or failures to act). And, you would have to hire a lawyer and it would probably cost you $10,000 in legal fees to get a decision from the court.

All of which leads us back to the DE1000M appeal. Obviously, you can wait, and you can continue to call and write -- but, the only way through the door to get something done via some cost effective means is to claim that EDD has made a decision by silence, and therefore you are entitled to appeal.

Anyway, that's the legal theory I'm proposing -- because there's no other way that I can think of to get EDD's attention in a cost-effective manner.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Great thank you for that. I will definitely use that form. Good idea.


Darla Jones