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unemploymentdelay.jpgThe state Employment Development Department, which said last week that about 185,000 Californians had been affected by a computer problem delaying unemployment checks for weeks, downgraded its estimate this afternoon, putting the total at about 148,000.

Loree Levy, a department spokeswoman, said in an email that the original estimate counted some people twice.

The Brown administration this week ordered EDD to begin paying backlogged claims for continued benefits before determining if claims are eligible for payment. It said the backlog could be cleared by Tuesday.

EDD, which is upgrading its 30-year-old unemployment insurance processing system, said about 148,000 of the state's nearly 800,000 people receiving benefits had claims delayed at some point by a computer problem that started over the Labor Day weekend.

As of this afternoon, about 47,000 of those people have claims remaining in the backlog, EDD said.

PHOTO: Binders full of job resources at the Employment Development Department office in Sacramento on Thursday February 14, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton



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