Benefiting Californians | February 2024

Welcome to the new Employment Development Department (EDD) newsletter, where we will share our story as the administrator of one of the nation’s largest public benefit systems—with over 21 million people filing 63 million unemployment, disability, and Paid Family Leave benefits claims over the past decade. We’re also the State’s largest tax collection agency and an integral player in the State’s workforce development system. This newsletter will help us transparently share our progress with some regular communication to help better inform you on the major changes impacting EDD customers.


EDD Switches Debit Card Service to Money Network

blue Money Network debit card

We now issue payments for unemployment, disability, and Paid Family Leave customers on prepaid debit cards provided by Money Network. We no longer issue payments on Bank of America debit cards. Customers with any remaining funds on a Bank of America debit card should use or transfer those funds before April 15, 2024.

The switch to a new payment partner also brings with it the opportunity to provide customers a new direct deposit option coming later this year. Additional information about the Money Network Card is available at in 21 of California’s top spoken languages. This includes instructions on how to activate the card, how to avoid fees and locate surcharge-free ATMs in local areas, FAQs, and translations of important “Terms and Fees” in all supported languages.

1099G Tax Season Coming Up

Woman wearing brown sweater smiling typing on her laptop

We have started issuing Form 1099Gs to individuals who received taxable unemployment compensation in 2023. Under IRS rules, taxable benefits include unemployment benefits, Disability Insurance benefits when they are a substitute for unemployment benefits, Paid Family Leave benefits, and Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits. For additional information, visit IRS’ Taxable Unemployment Compensation

Form 1099G information is available in UI Online accounts for up to five years. We also mailed a paper Form 1099G to everyone who did not choose electronic delivery.

For customers with a Paid Family Leave claim or those unable to access their information online, they can request a copy of their Form 1099G by calling our automated, self-service line at 1-866-333-4606. A copy of their Form 1099G will be mailed.

More information about the tax process, including Form 1099G fact sheets translated into multiple languages, is available on our Tax Information webpage.  

2023 Year in Review

Screen shot of Money Network's homepage


2023 was a year of continued improvement and innovation. We made landmark investments to improve multilingual outreach and resources. The Department continued to implement the EDDNext project to modernize its benefit systems and enhance the customer experience. We also continued working with federal partners to strengthen benefit programs.

We detailed many of these achievements in our annual Year in Review report. The report describes recent EDDNext work to improve the experience of millions of customers. This includes:

  • Implementing every California State Auditor recommendation.
  • Working with other states to implement best practices.
  • Simplifying online access to benefit programs.
  • Improving the contact center.
  • Listening to customer feedback.
  • Boosting awareness of our programs.
  • Communicating with Californians in their preferred languages.
  • Improving customer satisfaction.
  • Improving communication with customers.
  • Holding fraudsters accountable.
  • Helping Californians find good jobs.

We will build on this momentum in 2024 to further improve our operations and services, continuing to put customers first.

EDDNext Improvements Continue

Blue cloud icon and EDD logo set on top of a blue icon of California

We are fully committed to improving and transforming the EDD customer experience. Through EDDNext, we’re engaged in a top-to-bottom improvement of the EDD, including updating online applications, overhauling contact centers, simplifying claims processes, updating forms, and more. We are working with customer service experts, including Amazon Web Services and Salesforce to ensure EDDNext is forward-thinking and embraces the best technology and practices.

This month, we’ve continued simplifying the application process for unemployment benefits by shortening the application. We’re also working towards a 97% overhaul of the UI Online application by applying plain language that will streamline the customer experience.

We are also working with Amazon Web Services to implement Amazon Connect, a cloud-based, modern contact center platform. We will begin testing new contact center functionality that will eventually integrate our unemployment, disability, and Paid Family Leave systems. Our vision is a more seamless process for our customers. Currently, if someone has received Paid Family Leave benefits in the past, they would have to submit all of their personal information again when applying for unemployment benefits. Through EDDNext, we’ll share information across systems, so Californians have better experiences with the Department and all of our programs.

We’ll offer a number of contact center improvements that will enhance customer experiences when calling us, including the option for a live chat with agents and more expanded self-service options. Enhancements will also make it easier for our employees to access all claim information they need in a single agent console. These improvements will allow our employees to focus on what is most important – responding to customers quickly. Similar to functionality available today to unemployment customers, improvements will include presenting State Disability Insurance customers the option to choose a time to schedule a callback from one of our representatives, in addition to the existing “virtual hold” option they have today.

EDD employees will have all customer claim data immediately available when they connect with customers on a call, including a full-view of claim history and customer interactions with the Department. The new system will give claim examiners faster access to more comprehensive claim information, the ability to verify a customer’s identity quickly, and useful claim management tips. Integration will also help employees cross-train and share resources, which improves resiliency and customer service.

Californians can keep updated on modernization efforts and improvements through our bi-monthly newsletter and the Department’s EDDNext webpage.

We Continue to Expand Access to Unemployment Benefits in Multiple Languages

Group of people from different backgrounds smiling

We are one of the only public benefit agencies in the nation that has translated its vital information resources into the State’s top 15, most-commonly spoken languages particularly important for our Unemployment Insurance program. Our Language Resources webpages include information, forms, and contact information for all EDD benefit programs and services, including dedicated, in-language phone numbers to call and instructions about how to request an interpreter at no cost.

The Department continues to make progress with translated versions of the unemployment benefits application through UI Online and the shared benefits portal, myEDD. In December 2023, we added translated unemployment benefit applications in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese to the English and Spanish applications already offered. In March 2024, we will add Armenian, Korean, and Tagalog languages for online applications. These seven languages represent the top languages, other than English, spoken by working-age adults in California. Additionally, translations in UI Online and myEDD extend to password resets, claim status information, application forms, and text message alerts. Customers are now empowered to complete tasks and manage their claims in their preferred language.

One key challenge to effective translations is ensuring that the underlying documents are written in plain language and are easy to understand the first time they are read or heard. To that end, we have engaged in a comprehensive effort to overhaul forms and implement plain language at every opportunity. Customer research is a key part of EDDNext. Direct customer feedback will be gathered and applied to improve EDD forms and documents to make them easier to read and understand. We are also working with the Governor’s Office of Digital Innovation on this initiative.

Our Customer Experience and User Experience teams are busy helping to improve benefit application processes. These specialists have interviewed past customers, new applicants, advocates, and community-based organizations to help inform the design of new EDD services and changes to applications and forms. We have cut multiple questions from the unemployment benefit application, and we are working on plain-language revisions to make it easier to read and understand in the months ahead. 


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Introducing EDDNext

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