Online group helps those who can't get answers from EDD

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 00:29:04-04

(KGTV) -- As Californians try to rebound from this pandemic, many have turned to an online group to get answers about unemployment and benefits.

Erica Chan started the Facebook group “Unofficial CA unemployment help” in March. She is in the film industry, which has mostly been shut down during this pandemic.

With the help of others, like Ruddy Salazar, they have grown the page to more than 40,000 members.

Salazar knows the frustration of dealing with the Employment Development Department firsthand. He has been on both disability and unemployment. “I’ve actually had to call three times now. The first two times took around 300 calls,” Salazar said.

“I think it’s frustrating to see that this many people need that help. That our government isn’t there,” Chan said. Questions on the Facebook page range from the application process, identity verification, benefit extensions, and how to actually reach someone in the EDD office to help.

They hope the group can give people an avenue to avoid having to call the EDD. Chan also started a separate website to help centralize all the questions about unemployment that she has seen over the past several weeks.

“I like to feel like we’re providing that kind of service of generating that community and cultivating it,” Salazar said.