The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Officials Punish Disabled Workers for the Failures of the Unemployment System

Jan 31, 2022

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) said it has stopped sending disability checks to 345,000 claimants because it “suspects” that some of these claims are fraudulent. So, hundreds of thousands of workers, who are disabled and can’t work, will not be getting the money they desperately need to survive.

If there is fraud targeting the EDD’s disability benefits system, it’s because the EDD’s underfunded and outdated computer system has never been updated.

The EDD has pulled the same kind of stunt before. About a year ago, the EDD froze 1.4 million unemployment claims because, officials said, organized scam artists were stealing billions of dollars from the system.

It turned out that Bank of America, which the EDD contracted to issue debit cards to claimants, had not even bothered to provide some basic safety features on the debit cards. But still, those who got punished for this mess were hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers. And these workers were not even able to prove the legitimacy of their claims because, after years of neglect, the EDD’s computer and phone systems could not handle the rush of claims and complaints.