Computer glitch keeps benefits from unemployed

  • Martha Paige at her home in Petaluma, Calif., on September 17, 2013. Mrs. Paige, who was laid off from Sutter VNA Hospice, has not received an unemployment check since August 3 because of a glitch in the Employment Development Department system. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Martha Paige can't be sure the computer glitch that halted unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of people in California is the reason why she hasn't received a payment in more than a month.

The Petaluma widow said she's been unable to get a response from Employment Development Department officials, despite numerous calls to their offices.

But she's feeling the pinch just the same. At 69 years old, Paige has been unable to get a job since she was laid off in May from Sutter VNA and Hospice. And the $840 a month benefit she got from the state was a necessary supplement to her modest Social Security check.

"Fortunately, it's just me and my two dogs and a cat, so I can survive on a can of soup or something," said Paige, whose husband of 38 years, Conrad Paige, died last year. "But what about other people who don't have what I have? It must be really hard for them."

State unemployment officials said Tuesday they were trying to solve the problem but couldn't say exactly when payments would resume for everyone.

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