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unemployment.jpgThe state Employment Development Department said today that about 50,000 unemployed Californians have had their benefit checks delayed as the department struggles to implement a computer system upgrade.

An EDD spokeswoman, Loree Levy, said the department processed about 15,000 of those claims overnight and hopes to finish the rest by the end of the week. The delayed claims are from the first two weeks of September.

"We really are all hands on deck to get these folks taken care of," Levy said.

The department said on its website Monday that delays affected about 16 percent of bi-weekly claim forms received in the first two weeks of the month. It said there had been "some payment delays for a subset of our customers with more complexity associated with their claims."

The statement said employees are "working around the clock and through the weekends to try and get these payments issued for the customers eligible and waiting for benefits."

EDD said it has been working for months to upgrade its 30-year-old payment processing system. The department pays benefits to about 800,000 Californians, Levy said.

PHOTO: Sergio Fuentes, right, gets some help from a state worker at the state Employment Development Department in San Jose on Sept. 1, 2009. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma



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