LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – California has paid more than $ 16 billion in unemployment benefits, but some people are still waiting for their money.
Mike Hardy of San Pedro took matters into his own hands to finally receive his benefits, including email to the Secretary of Labor.
One morning, over a two-hour period, Hardy said he called the Employment Development Department almost 400 times and that he has the screenshots to prove it.
"I bet I made 15-20,000 phone calls last month. I would call 600 to 700 times a day to no avail, ”he said.
Hardy worked for Goodwill before the safest order in the home went into effect. In March, as soon as he was fired, he applied for unemployment.
"He just kept saying pending and every two weeks, he went in and certified for the weeks, but he was still pending," Hardy said.
As the days turned into weeks without any benefits, Hardy began to run out of money. He said he finally got someone from EDD to pick him up and explained how serious his situation was.
"You know I can't buy food, I can't buy my medicine and I can't pay my bills and he said, 'Sir, that's not our problem. You need to learn to manage your money and you wouldn't be in this situation and he hung up on me, "Hardy said.
Defeated, Hardy sent an email to the Governor, his local legislators, and the Secretary of Labor, Julie Su.
To his surprise, Su returned the email. He apologized and promised, "I will make sure that EDD contacts you on your claim," he said.
Two days later, an EDD representative called Hardy.
"It was like angels in my ears, it was a sigh of relief," he said.
The same day, he received the call from the EDD, Hardy went from pending to paid.
"I could finally tell my landlord when I'm going to pay my rent," he said.
Hardy is grateful to Su but is not calming down. You want EDD to hire more people and be better trained.
"We need a better system, what we have now is failing," Hardy said. "He is not getting what needs to be done. People who need help are not getting help."
Su's office released a statement saying that she and her team are working to find solutions and fix problems at EDD.