Report 2014-101 Recommendation 3 Responses

Report 2014-101: Employment Development Department: It Should Improve Its Efforts to Minimize Avoidable Appeals of Its Eligibility Determinations for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Release Date: August 2014)

Recommendation #3 To: Employment Development Department

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should ensure that determinations are supported by sufficient fact-finding and relevant evidence by increasing the required number of attempts to reach claimants by telephone or e-mail before making a determination.

Agency Response*

As indicated in prior responses, EDD provided additional training to staff on the importance of adequate fact-finding and documentation requirements to support legal decisions. Also, as detailed below, EDD has increased the number of attempts to contact claimants before making a determination.

The EDD implemented UI Online(sm)in April 2015. This system allows claimants to directly access and view their claim information, including eligibility interview appointment dates and times. Claimants can also reschedule their determination phone interview appointment to accommodate their schedules. From April 2015 through August 2016, claimants rescheduled 8,515 determination appointments through UI Online(sm). Another benefit is that EDD is now able to gather more claimant information up front when claimants re-open existing claims and certify for continued benefits.

The EDD implemented the Voice Callback System in November 2015. This system provides claimants with an automated phone reminder 48 hours before their scheduled eligibility determination phone appointment.

In August 2016, EDD began including an additional insert with the determination appointment notification to further educate claimants about the claim process and the importance of attending the eligibility interview. This insert is titled, "Important: Information About Your Unemployment Insurance Benefits."

In addition to the efforts above, EDD continues to provide the claimant with a written determination appointment notification. At the time of the appointment, EDD calls and interviews the claimant. If unable to reach the claimant, EDD leaves a message with a direct phone number providing the claimant with an opportunity to return the call.

All of these efforts further ensure that determinations are supported by sufficient fact-finding and relevant evidence.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: August 2016
  • Response Date: September 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

The insert that EDD began sending claimants in August 2016 provides good information to claimants regarding the importance of attending the phone interview. In addition, claimants now have the ability to view and reschedule phone interviews using EDD's online system. Combined with EDD's other efforts to provide automated reminders, we believe that EDD has sufficiently increased its efforts to reach claimants before making a determination.


Agency Response*

As indicated in our six-month response, in September 2014, we conducted additional training for our staff on the importance of adequate fact-finding, better documentation of our findings, and summarizing facts in support of our legal decisions. Additionally, we are making progress implementing a new system to provide a phone call reminder to claimants of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments (cited in our six-month response). The anticipated completion date is September 2015. Separately, we met our goal of successfully implementing the UI Online system between April and June 2015. Claimants can now directly access and view their claim information and they have recently started rescheduling their determination appointments online without assistance from an EDD representative. Additionally, through the UI Online system, we are able to gather more claimant information upfront to assist in the fact-finding process and to utilize as relevant evidence that supports our legal decisions, when appropriate. We continue to explore the ability to send claimants' messages about their determination appointments through the UI Online system.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2015
  • Response Date: August 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

EDD's response does not entirely address our recommendation. We agree that providing additional training to its staff on the importance of adequate fact finding and reminding claimants of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments would be beneficial. However, we also believe that EDD should increase the required number of attempts to reach claimants by telephone or electronically to obtain additional facts before making eligibility determinations.


Agency Response*

As indicated in our 60-day response, in September 2014, we conducted additional training for our staff on the importance of adequate fact finding and better documentation of our findings, including training on properly summarizing facts in support of our legal decisions. Additionally, we are on track to implement the new system (cited in our 60-day response) to provide a phone call reminder to claimants of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments in 2015. Separately, in April 2015, we will be implementing our UI Online services system that will display appointments to claimants and provide them with the ability to directly access and view their claim information and reschedule their determination appointments without having to talk to an EDD representative. After UI Online is implemented, the EDD will explore other routes for communicating with claimants through the UI Online system to increase their awareness of their determination appointments, such as sending them reminder messages about their appointments. The estimated completion date is December of 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015
  • Response Date: February 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

EDD's response does not entirely address our recommendation. We agree that providing additional training to its staff on the importance of adequate fact finding and sending messages to claimants reminding them of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments would be beneficial. However, we also believe that EDD should increase the required number of attempts to reach claimants by telephone or e-mail to obtain additional facts before making eligibility determinations.


Agency Response*

In September 2014, we conducted additional training for our staff on the importance of adequate fact finding and better documentation of our findings, including training on properly summarizing facts in support of our legal decisions. In 2015, we will implement our new system to provide a phone call reminder to claimants of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments and separately implement our UI Online services to display appointments to claimants and provide them with the ability to directly access and view their claim information, as well as reschedule their determination appointments, without having to talk to an EDD representative. After UI Online is implemented in the spring of 2015, the EDD will be exploring other routes for communicating with claimants through the UI Online system, such as by sending them reminder messages about their appointments.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

EDD's response does not entirely address our recommendation. We agree that providing additional training to its staff on the importance of adequate fact finding and sending messages to claimants reminding them of their upcoming eligibility determination appointments would be beneficial. However, we also believe that EDD should increase the required number of attempts to reach claimants by telephone or e-mail to obtain additional facts before making eligibility determinations.


All Recommendations in 2014-101

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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