Seven years after the federal government gave California $66.1 million to modernize its unemployment insurance call centers and claims processing systems, state workers are still manually processing claims that the jobless now submit online.
Neither of two projects that were to be completed with the federal money in four or five years are done as workers grapple with a computer system that is 30 years old.
The delays have hampered the state Employment Development Department's ability to quickly process thousands of applications for unemployment insurance and issue checks to the jobless in the worst recession in 28 years.
They have also forced swamped department employees to work costly overtime at night and on weekends to keep up with the surge in unemployment claims, which now total as many as 75,000 a week, EDD officials say.
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