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unemploymentdelay.jpgThe Employment Development Department said it will finish Wednesday clearing a backlog of unemployment claims that delayed jobless benefits for thousands of unemployed Californians.

The department said in a statement that "final work on some more complex case work being finished today will mark completion" of the backlog.

The announcement comes after the Brown administration last week week ordered EDD to begin paying backlogged claims for continued benefits before determining if claims are eligible for payment.

EDD, which is upgrading its 30-year-old unemployment insurance processing system, estimated about 148,000 Californians had checks delayed at some point by a computer problem that started over the Labor Day weekend.

Some claimants as recently as Tuesday afternoon said they had yet to be paid.

"I go to the bank every day and slide that little card in hoping to see some numbers there," said Dini Freeman, 69, an unemployed medical billing specialist who lives in Novato.

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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