The California Employment Development Department is already facing criticism for unanswered phone calls, and delayed unemployment checks. And today a new report from the state auditor finds EDD failed to participate in a federal program that could have brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to California.
Margarita Fernández is with the auditor’s office. She says the program allows states to intercept the tax returns of people who were overpaid unemployment benefits. Thirty-one states are participating in the program, which has been available since 2011.
“In delaying to participate in the program they lost their opportunity to collect an estimated $516 million,” she says. “Even this year, they’re planning to begin participation in September 2014.”
Fernández says by waiting until September, EDD will miss 90 percent of this year’s tax returns.
In a statement EDD says it has a variety of ways to recoup overpaid unemployment benefits. It says the federal program will just add to its abilities. Additionally, EDD says it has new leadership that is committed to taking part in the federal program.
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