SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — At a time when millions of Californians are out of work, the Employment Development Department announced it suspended some payments in an attempt to crack down on fraud.
After the pandemic left him without his two restaurant jobs, 31-year-old Evan Veiga was hoping for a brighter new year.
But just before the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, the Sacramento server got a letter from the EDD informing him that his account had been suspended on suspicion of fraud.
“This pandemic has stolen that from me and now it’s stealing my money and the only way to feed myself and pay my bills,” Veiga said.
Veiga is far from the only one who saw payments paused.
On Sunday, the department tweeted out a message acknowledging the issue:
As part of ongoing efforts to fight fraud, EDD has suspended payment on claims considered high risk and is informing those affected that their identity will need to be verified starting this week before payments can resume. More details on the EDD website in the days ahead.CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
But the suspension came without warning and at a time when first-of-the-month bills are due. And without a check, many recipients were left wondering how they’re going to come up with enough money to survive January.
“It feels almost evil, especially at this time. They could have done this a lot better. They could have given us 30 days to supply what they needed but they just sprung it on us,” Veiga told FOX40. “I’m just barely scraping by to feed myself, just barely scraping by to pay bills.”
Veiga says he continues to contact the EDD for guidance but is left without answers.
Now, he has a message for those in charge.
“Just get it together. Seriously get it together. You have people that rely on you. I’m hungry and others are too,” Veiga said.
California Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, took to Twitter advising those concerned about making rent to contact their landlords in writing.
The California eviction moratorium protest renters who can’t pay their rent due to the pandemic through the end of January.