ALPINE, Calif. — An Alpine construction worker has gone 14 weeks with no unemployment benefits because the state agency, the Employment Development Department, has not verified his identity.
“It's been a run around for the past three months,” said Kevin, who did not want his last name used in this report.
“I have no money. No funds to pay bills. Nothing coming in. It's just affecting my whole life right now,” he said.
Kevin’s EDD claim was one of more than one million that was frozen in December, pending verification of his identity.
At the time, EDD was trying to weed out fraud, so the agency started using a private company, ID.me.
“They told me to [get] my driver’s license, take a picture of the front and take a picture of the back. They then do a face scan. You put the phone up to your face. You hit 'go' and it does a face scan,” said Kevin.
The ID.me verification process seemed to work. But when Kevin returned to the EDD home page, nothing happened.
“When I certified, all that kept coming up was 'pending, pending,'” he said.
Kevin tried calling and emailing EDD but he couldn't get through.
“They have no answers or anything. And then one time I was on hold so long that it hung up on me,” he said.
News 8 reached out on Kevin’s behalf to the office of his state senator, Toni Atkins.
Staff members at state legislators’ offices have been overwhelmed with calls from unemployed workers, but a spokesperson for Atkins said the office is attempting to assist Kevin with his claim.
“I feel like I'm not the only one going through this. There's got to be millions of people going through this in California right now,” said Kevin.
News 8 also reached out to EDD and passed along Kevin's contact info. As of Tuesday, there had been no response from EDD on resolving the issue.
EDD tweeted out this week that the agency was having technical issues with its website and it was working to fix the problem.
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