coronavirus pandemic

‘Extra' Unemployment Checks Cause Confusion

NBC 7 Responds looked at why some people are still getting unemployment checks, even though they are working again

NBC Universal, Inc.

Millions of people are still relying on unemployment checks. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program ended in July, but some people are having hundreds of dollars suddenly appear in their accounts.

"With my EDD bank account I have an alert whenever there's a deposit made," said Ann Rebuffattee, a substitute teacher who lives near San Carlos. "It said $300 was deposited yesterday."

Rebuffattee was on unemployment since April, but in August started her job as a Census worker.

"So when I got that job I had to stop unemployment," Rebuffattee said.

After a month of no unemployment checks, the $300 suddenly appeared in her account.

"I tried calling EDD and that doesn't work because they have you call a number and that number doesn't work," Rebuffattee said. "I'm not going to spend it because I don't even know if I should have it or not. That's why I thought I should call NBC."

NBC 7 Responds reached out to the California Employment Development Department. A spokesperson said the checks are part of the Lost Wages Assistance program, which is being retroactively paid out for the period between July 26 and August 15.

The Lost Wages Program was designed to help fill the gap after the $600 PUA payments expired.

"It helped me put money away because I don’t know when I’ll be teaching again because it’s all online right now," Rebuffattee said. "The $300 puzzled me though. I didn't want to spend it, then have to find money to return it."

Rebuffattee says this is the first time she's had an issue with EDD. With changing policies, it's also been hard for her to keep track of what assistance programs are in effect, versus being talked about by politicians.

“It’s enough to take care of the grandkids and make sure they’re in school okay at my dining room table,” Rebuffattee said. "I've no complaints at all. It's just if you try to get in touch with someone, forget it."

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