State unemployment officials say almost one million residents may have to repay their benefits.
According to the EDD, there are new federal rules in place that require individuals show proof that they worked, planned to work, or were self-employed prior to the pandemic. The policy applies to anyone who filed a claim to get the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance boost after December 27, 2020. PUA was created in March 2020 to ease the impact of the sudden, deep pandemic-triggered recession. PUA ended in early September.Those affected by the rule change were notified over the summer. Failure to respond to the notice could bar individuals from receiving PUA funds this year, and require repayment of money from 2020.
The easy access to benefits, in California and elsewhere, triggered massive fraud. California officials estimated last month the state has paid out about $20 billion in improper claims, or about 11% of what was paid since the Covid pandemic began in March 2020, according to The Sacramento Bee.EDD has begun notifying those who have to submit this information via text, email and on the UI Online homepage for claimants.