SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Robert Elkins is a painter from Sacramento who is out of work as a result of the pandemic.
“I’m down to dollars and cents in my checking and savings. I’m a hard-working taxpayer all my life. And I can’t get paid,” Elkins said.
Elkins hasn’t received unemployment benefits from the Employment Development Department (EDD) since December.
“I’m challenged with a computer, and all I have for a ‘computer’ is my phone,” he said.
What do you do if you don’t have access to a computer and end up waiting for hours to talk to someone on the phone?
“They won’t tell me anything, and they owe me eight weeks of benefits,” Elkins explained.
This sounds like a nightmare, right?
But sadly, for many hard-working Californians – it’s a reality.
Elkins called the Dollars and Sense team and asked for help. Here was our experience:
First, we did find a link that shows the paperwork to send to EDD.
If you look closely at the paperwork, however, it says “sample” on the top, so we couldn’t print and mail this in.
I also tried calling EDD, but after being on hold for an hour, Robert and I both knew we had to try a different approach.
We tried a “buddy system” approach, where I watched a video from the EDD on how to fill out the information online and then we filled out the forms together.
While we wait to see if this process worked, I asked Elkins, who is also a former firefighter, one last question.
If you could say one or do one thing in regard to the EDD situation. What would you say or do?
“You know what? I would go into EDD and I would clean house,” he said.
Are you having trouble filling out the EDD stuff online?
If you’re 60+ older call the Area Agency on Aging at 916-486-1876.
People in the Sacramento area can also reach out to the Center for Workers’ Rights at 916-905-1625.