News Story (California, NATIONAL)
National Public Radio (NPR)
October 14, 2020
LISTEN TO THE STORY HERE
Tags: COVID-19, Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance
Here’s what the strike team discovered. Minor discrepancies — like someone using their middle initial in applying for benefits when their full middle name appeared on their driver’s license or Social Security card — would send up a red flag for potential fraud. And then the person would be required to provide additional “identity verification.” That would mean a manual review by workers swamped with 10 times the normal number of claims.
“If you applied for unemployment assistance, you had a 40% chance of getting flagged for manual processing,” Pahlka says. This is what apparently happened to Guasch.
Pahlka found many other people suffered through similar agonizing delays.