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    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — After months of tech issues and glitches, Florida officials are recommending the state’s antiquated unemployment processing system be replaced after a review confirmed it was incapable of handling the unprecedented deluge of jobless claims spawned by the coronavirus outbreak. The state’s Department of Economic Opportunity is recommending that the current system, known as CONNECT, be discarded and replaced with a more robust and modern system that employs cloud-based technology that could allow the system to more nimbly respond to increased demands. READ MORE: Miami PD Still Searching For Jackson Hospital Escapee Connected To Rough Arrest The department, which oversees the state’s unemployment system, is asking lawmakers for $73 million over the next two years to modernize the system that left hundreds of thousands of jobless Floridians without unemployment checks for weeks and sometimes months. The director of the agency, Dane Eagle, told lawmakers Monday that Florida was not...
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are recommending that the state’s antiquated unemployment processing system be replaced after a review confirmed what had long been known: a broken system full of glitches that was incapable of handling the unprecedented deluge of jobless claims spawned by the coronavirus outbreak. The state’s Department of Economic Opportunity is recommending that the current system, known as CONNECT, be discarded and replaced with a more robust and modern system that employs cloud-based technology that could allow the system to more nimbly respond to increased demands. The department, which oversees the state’s unemployment system, is asking lawmakers for $73 million over the next two years to modernize the system that left hundreds of thousands of jobless Floridians without unemployment checks for weeks and sometimes months. The director of the agency, Dane Eagle, told lawmakers Monday that Florida was not alone in its struggles. “We are far...
    By BOBBY CAINA CALVAN, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are recommending that the state's antiquated unemployment processing system be replaced after a review confirmed what had long been known: a broken system full of glitches that was incapable of handling the unprecedented deluge of jobless claims spawned by the coronavirus outbreak. The state's Department of Economic Opportunity is recommending that the current system, known as CONNECT, be discarded and replaced with a more robust and modern system that employs cloud technology. The state's Department of Economic Opportunity, the agency that oversees the state's unemployment system, is asking lawmakers to approve more than $73 million over the next two years to modernize a system that left hundreds of thousands of jobless Floridians without unemployment checks for weeks and sometimes months. The director of the agency, Dane Eagle, told lawmakers Monday that Florida was not alone in its struggles....
    THE family of a mum who was found dying with a benefits letter has demanded the welfare system gets fixed. Devastated Imogen Day, the sister of Philippa Day, has called on the Department for Welfare and Pensions to act following Philippa's death. 1Philippa Day (pictured) was found dying with a letter from the Department of Work and PensionsCredit: BPM Media Philippa, 27, was found collapsed at her home in Nottingham next to a "distressing" benefits letter after her weekly money was cut to £60 by the DWP. The mum died in 2019 from a brain injury after two months in a coma. Speaking to the Mirror, Imogen, 24, called on the Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey and her officials need to act. "Pip wasn’t the first to die and won’t be the last," she said. "The ­process is distressing, it has led to multiple similar instances and they...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — About a million of the neediest kids across the state will be receiving debit card dollars to buy food thanks to an extra $110 million dollars a month in federal funding. But on Thursday night, an email went out from CPS that said all students would get the benefit regardless of income. READ MORE: United Center Parking Lot To Become Mass Vaccination Site In March And that lead to some confusion. CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports on the confusing information. The announcement from the state said the money was for kids who would have qualified for free or reduced-price lunches. But CPS said it’s in a special category and can offer it to all of its students. “So I will go get all the food, portion it out and say ‘there you go. There’s lunch.'” Elizabeth Harris’ fridge is full now. Luckily, the CPS mom was...
    Three of the region’s largest banks have agreed to refund overdraft fees to District workers collecting unemployment benefits who missed a payment last week due to a tech snafu at the D.C. Department of Employment Services. About 39,000 people received late payments because of the tech glitch. The three banks — Bank of America, Capital One and Wells Fargo — represent nearly half of the consumer banking market in the D.C. region, according to a statement Friday issued by At-Large Council member Elissa Silverman. “D.C. workers receiving unemployment shouldn’t lose money for our error, that’s adding insult to injury,” Silverman said in the statement. Silverman said she worked with the banks to get them to agree to cover any overdraft fees. “It wasn’t the fault of our unemployment claimants that the money wasn’t in their accounts; it was the District’s error, and they shouldn’t have to pay a penalty for...
    A glitch in Washington, D.C.'s, unemployment benefits system led to nearly 40,000 people missing out on their benefits last week, officials said on Monday. The error was caused by a vendor handling the system's updates, which are necessary to extend several unemployment programs within the city, the city's Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes said, according to The Washington Post. “We are going to make sure we work with our vendor even closer than we have before to continue to test the system to ensure that no other technical issues like this occur,” Morris-Hughes said. Huges said that D.C. workers should expect to receive the missed benefits this Wednesday. D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserBuilding an effective 9/11 commission for the Capitol riots Capitol Police recommend fence around Capitol stay up until September: report Trump legal troubles may not be over despite Senate acquittal MORE (D) said she and other city officials “terribly regret”...
    I don’t think there has ever been a better or more relevant time to invest in your immune system. Luckily, for those seeking natural avenues, the plant-based world is rife with options! Take the amla berry — also known as Indian Gooseberry — an ancient and revered food turned traditional medicine. This little, sour, yellow berry packs a punch of antioxidants, nutrients, and, most importantly, vitamin C. Given this beaming portfolio, amla berry has quickly risen the ranks as an excellent plant-based food to help support your immune system. Let’s take a deeper dive into Amla Berry! What is Amla Berry? Mahmudul-Hassan Indian folklore claims that this berry came “from the first tree to appear on earth” and was “manifested out of the tears of the Brahma while he was meditating.” Simply put, amla berry is an essential component of many ancient medicines and has been called “sarvadosha hara,...
    Bronze statues of unemployed men standing in a unemployment line during the Great Depression at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. Last week was the 46th of the past 47 weeks in which at least 1 million out-of-work Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits. Specifically, 1.1 million, with 793,000 filing under regular state programs and 335,000 filing under the federal emergency programs created because of the coronavirus pandemic. That was four times the typical weekly number of people filing initial initial claims in the pre-pandemic Before Times. But it was also 54,000 less than the previous week The bigger story is the 2.7 million-person surge in continuing claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, both designed to provide benefits to people who aren’t covered by state programs (part-timers, gig workers) or who have exhausted their state benefits. As Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute points...
    SACRAMENTO —  President Biden on Wednesday nominated California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su as the second in command at the U.S. Department of Labor, even as she faces criticism from some in her home state for ongoing troubles at the Employment Development Department, which has delayed approving unemployment benefits while paying out billions of dollars on fraudulent claims. Though Democratic lawmakers and labor leaders are rallying around Su’s nomination, arguing she did the best she could after inheriting an unemployment system hamstrung by antiquated technology, understaffing and operational problems, others, including Republican legislators, are raising concerns about her record. State Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron of Escondido questioned the president’s decision to put Su, whose nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, in an administrative role at the department that oversees unemployment programs nationally when the state agency under her purview has done so poorly in helping...
    Climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert is interviewed at Rolling Stone. See below. Saturday Snippets is a regular weekend feature of Daily Kos. Candidate for Virginia governorship could improve abortion access. The Commonwealth will elect a new governor in 2021 and one candidate has in mind a change that could make a big difference in how reproductive rights are treated in the state. She is Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Democrat who is vowing to appoint an all pro-choice Cabinet if she is elected to fill the post now held by Ralph Northam, who cannot run for another term. She is the first gubernatorial candidate in the country to make such a pledge. Carroll Foy was one of the first Black women to graduate from the Virginia Military Institute and then became a magistrate judge, public defender, and delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. “I have seen firsthand the ramifications of what...
    By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Assurances from labor officials that new security protocols are blocking thousands of fraudulent attempts every hour to access Kansas' unemployment benefits system did little Wednesday to dispel the concerns of Republican lawmakers who fear the state is losing millions of dollars to COVID-19 pandemic scammers. The state Department of Labor reported that it had blocked more than 538,000 attempts from internet bots or human scammers to log into its unemployment system during the 27 hours after a shutdown of the system ended Tuesday morning. The department shut down the system Saturday afternoon to add new security protocols after a flood of fraudulent claims for benefits. Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature have criticized Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and her administration for months over problems at the Department of Labor in providing benefits to workers who've lost their jobs in the pandemic. She...
    UNIVERSAL credit is the controversial welfare scheme, which aims the simplify benefits for people in the UK. The digital system is managed online, including new applications and how to check your claim if you're already on Universal Credit. 1 The government has introduced online Universal Credit accounts to make it easier to track your claimCredit: Getty Images - Getty Here's how to log into your online journal and the pros of checking your online claims account: How do you log in to Universal Credit? You can see your Universal Credit account online by logging into your account on GOV.UK. It's called an Online Journal. Users need their username and password to log in - it's the same one you will have had to set up when you first applied for benefits. The website will give you a reminder if you're not sure of the details. If you have an online...
    It’s week 45 since the partial economic shutdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of Americans off their jobs. It’s the 44th week during that period in which at least a million have made initial applications for unemployment benefits. During the week ending Jan. 23, according to the Department of Labor, 847,000 people applied for initial benefits from state programs, and 427,000 applied through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers gig workers and others not eligible for state benefits. Eighteen million out-of-work people are receiving continuing benefits from these programs and another that covers the jobless who have exhausted their state benefits. Last year at this time, weeks before most Americans had heard the word COVID-19, that figure was just 2.1 million, typical in times of low unemployment. This is the world the Biden-Harris administration inherited halfway through last week. With the new team in charge, there is now hope at least that we’re on a path to getting the virus...
    WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- If you've ever worked with a clunky computer, you know what folks applying for unemployment are dealing with.As KGO-TV reports, an audit of EDD released this week raises some perplexing issues about the agency's outdated computer system -- a technological nightmare that delayed jobless benefits for millions, including Carla Winter-Evans.California paid out $11 billion in fake jobless claims last year, official saysEMBED More News Videos The Orange County D.A. outlined three separate unrelated plots, involving 10 people altogether that he said exploited loopholes in the state's unemployment system to steal nearly $500,000 that should have gone to taxpayers in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Northern California woman belted out a tune for us on the spot. "Well, let me entertain you," she sang.Unfortunately, the face painter and magician hasn't had much entertaining to do since the COVID-19 pandemic.The disease shut down her party business, PartiArt."COVID...
    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Thousands of fraudulent unemployment claims are prompting Kansas to shut down its processing system this weekend, meaning some jobless workers will have payments delayed as the state installs new anti-fraud protections, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday. Kelly acknowledged that fraudulent claims may have helped fuel a recent surge of filings for benefits, agreeing with Republican legislators. The Democratic governor’s announcement came shortly after GOP lawmakers said they will push to protect employers from being forced to cover the cost of fraudulent claims in ex-employees’ names. They said the state Department of Labor doesn’t have a handle on the problem and that they’ve not gotten enough data or answers. Kelly said the unemployment system will go down at 2 p.m. Saturday and go back up at 7 a.m. Tuesday. She said the state won’t pay benefits during that period but will work to catch up on...
    DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is hosting two virtual town halls to discuss unemployment benefits. The agency just launched a new online benefits system. (credit: CBS) The town halls will discuss Colorado’s fraud protection system, extended unemployment benefits, and the new system. Both will be on Friday, the first at 11:30 a.m. and the other at 1:30 p.m. LINK: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Town Hall Registration The ID verification is required to be implemented by Jan. 27. CDLE also said it will still take until the end of January or beginning of February to open its system for PEUC/ PUA claims.
    Several studies have pointed out the benefits of vitamin D in cases of coronavirus, but a recent one, published in Medrxiv and collected by Medical Writing, collects information from all of them and offers very positive news. This is a meta-analysis that reveals that the use of vitamin D can decrease mortality rate, the severity of the disease and the levels of serotonin of inflammatory markers. All studies on vitamin D and coronavirus published up to December 16, 2020 were reviewed and the softwareComprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) version 2.0. After screening, the meta-analysis is based on four full studies and 259 patients studied, among which are included 139 patients to whom vitamin D was applied and to whom the survival rate and mortality of Covid-19 patients were evaluated. The pooled analysis of these studies showed a lower mortality rate among the intervention groups (10.56%) compared to the control groups...
    New York : One of the harmful habits more recurrent in today’s society, is the high consumption of sugary energy drinks or packed with sweeteners. Whether they are consumed as a supplement in the daily hydration or to increase energy levelsIt is a fact that they do not bring benefits to health or to the figure. The good news is that today we have many natural options, which are not only delicious, are associated with extraordinary medicinal properties. Within the wide world of Natural medicine, in recent months he has called from special way attention the consumption of natural energy shots. The truth is this kind of drinks are associated with all kinds of benefits, in principle they shine for their content in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants what provide nutrition and energy. At the same time they are famous and indisputable allies for strengthen the immune system, accelerate metabolism...
    DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment system for unemployment benefits is going to be offline for the next 5 days. The department will be completing a major system upgrade during that time. (credit: CBS) “There will be no ability for a claimant to access their claims information nor will our agents have the ability to access their claim information for the two systems,” Cher Haavind, CDLE Deputy Director said. The new system is expected to sync existing claims to the new one. “We have claimants on multiple applications so this creates an issue as we strive to make sure people who exhaust state benefits can move on to federal benefits,” Joe Barela, CDLE Exec. Dir. explained. While it seems like an odd time to do an upgrade, this was planned before the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the upgrade had been delayed because of it. ...
    This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.  Medically Reviewed Reviewed By Check Mark Icon A check mark. It indicates that the relevant content has been reviewed and verified by an expert Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness. For more information, visit our medical review board. Saunas come with risks like dehydration, so make sure you're well hydrated before your session. FatCamera/Getty Images The traditional Finnish sauna, which takes place in a heated and enclosed wooden room, is the most popular sauna experience worldwide and therefore is what many studies are based on regarding sauna's health benefits. Sauna use may have a variety of health benefits, including helping the body release toxins, improving the cardiovascular system, and building up the...
    Immigrants from the European Union will have to wait for five years before claiming benefits from the British government following the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st. On Wednesday, the Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey confirmed that Europeans will indeed be subjected to the same rules regarding benefits as immigrants from the rest of the world. The welfare overhaul will also include the removal of the ability to claim child benefits for children residing in countries outside the UK. “We have delivered on our manifesto commitment to restore fairness in access to our welfare system by treating EU and non-EU migrants equally,” Miss Coffey said per the Daily Mail. “It is both right and fair that people making the UK their home should pay into the tax system for a reasonable period of time before they can access the benefit system,” she added. Prior to the...
    EU MIGRANTS who come to Britain from January 1 will not be able to claim benefits - including Universal Credit - for five years. Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey announced today the new post-Brexit benefits system which means all migrants are treated the same - no matter where they arrived from. ⚠️ Read our Brexit live blog for the latest news & updates 3All migrants - including those from the EU - will be treated the same from 2021Credit: AFP or licensors 3Migrants will need to wait five years to claim benefitsCredit: Rex Features 3Therese Coffey said it would restore fairness to the welfare systemCredit: PA:Press Association Under the new rules, child benefits will no longer be paid out for kids not living in the UK. Ms Coffey hailed the post-Brexit welfare system as one which "restores fairness" by "treating EU and non-EU migrants equally"....
    Dear Moneyist, I am concerned that people are receiving another 11 weeks of unemployment benefits along with an extra $300 per week. I don’t have a problem in providing assistance to those who need it. It’s so sad to see families suffering financially. But what about these other people who are receiving it? They are dependent on their parents, live in nice homes and are taken care of. I’ve heard of numerous situations where a young adult had a part-time summer job in the Summer of 2019, and submitted in March for unemployment. “ ‘I’ve heard of a family whose kids received a $6,000 check in back unemployment in July. They had been collecting unemployment since March. They live in an affluent neighborhood where houses are worth $300,000.’ ” They received all the benefits since March, including $600 extra a week. They’re not going to look for a...
    By SAM METZ, AP/Report for America CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada officials overseeing the state's unemployment insurance system blasted the U.S. Congress for gridlock that has prevented passage of a bill that extends benefits for laid-off workers amid the pandemic. Former Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, who leads a state strike force tasked with ensuring people receive benefits that they are entitled to, said unless the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and President Donald Trump agree on a bill that extends pandemic relief, Nevada would be forced to stop providing benefits to about 200,000 laid-off workers who currently receive them. “Families are about to face unbelievable hardship as their unemployment benefits stop on Saturday,” Buckley said. “Our economy is still reeling from this pandemic. Jobs have not yet returned. Congress and the president have had months to act.” Coronavirus relief passed by the federal government in the spring has allowed...
    By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday named the Kansas Department of Labor's deputy secretary as its top administrator as she works to find another, permanent leader for an agency that struggled for months to process a surge in claims from workers left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Acting Secretary Brett Flaschbarth became the third person to lead the Department of Labor in less than seven months. Kelly's first labor secretary, Delia Garcia, resign in June amid problems with the system for distributing unemployment benefits. Her replacement, Acting Secretary Ryan Wright was allowed by law to serve only six months, which ended Tuesday. The Democratic governor credited Wright with improving the Department of Labor's operations and making “significant progress” in building a system to handle a program created by Congress to provide benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to independent contractors and...
    Federal authorities on Thursday accused a California woman of cheating the state's pandemic unemployment benefits system out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court filings. According the Los Angeles Times, Andrea Gervais, a former Employment Development Department (EDD) employee is accused of acquiring more than $200,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits.  Gervais allegedly submitted over 100 false claims for pandemic unemployment assistance using stolen information, according to authorities. Notably, one claim was successfully processed and paid to the name of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) for over $20,000.  In a statement obtained by the newspaper, a spokesperson from Feinstein's office said that she was aware that her name had been used to file these alleged fraudulent claims.  "The matter will be handled by law enforcement and the courts,” said spokesman Tom Mentzer, according to the Times.  Gervais was fired from her position at the EDD in 2018 after an investigation at...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- More people in Illinois are just learning they owe the state thousands of dollars in overpaid unemployment benefits, including one Bloomingdale woman who got a letter saying she owes the state more than $20,000.She said she feels completely helpless, and when asked by the I-Team the state shifted the blame to the federal government."There's no way I can pay that back," Kimberly Cassaro said.RELATED: IDES acting director responds to Illinois unemployment COVID-19 benefits delays, fraud criticismCassaro was in disbelief when she received the letter from the Illinois Department of Employment Security stating her Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, benefits were overpaid and she now owes more than $20,000."I thought it was a joke at first," she said. "I really to focus in on that number to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing and I've been full of anxiety ever since."Cassaro said she...
    Actor Bryan Cranston said that “white privilege” has helped create an imbalanced criminal justice system in this country that adversely impacts black, Latino, and poor people. The actor made the comments in an interview with Variety to promote his new Showtime limited series Your Honor, in which he plays a New Orleans judge who gets into trouble when his son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit-and-run accident. The series is adapted from the original Israeli show Kvodo, which debuted in 2017. “There are characters in it that are completely devoted to the justice system, as flawed as it may be at times. Does it work for everyone? No. And this show will expose that frailty, the prejudice, that it bends its knees to those who are powerful or rich or have white privilege — all of which Michael [his character] tries to use to his advantage,” Cranston told the trade...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) —  The fallout continues from the massive fraud scheme where prisoners were siphoning off at least $140 million dollars in unemployment benefits. More victims are coming forward and law enforcement is trying to prioritize how to prosecute so many cases. Tyler Estabrook is an independent contractor and is among the victims caught up in the massive unemployment fraud scheme, where inmates at jails and prisons across California illegally collected the unemployment, or EDD, payments. “This assistance now is really integral for me making it through to the other end of all of this,” said Estabrook. Estabrook is among those horrified to learn up to $1 billion dollars now could be gone. “You’ve got a huge network of prisoners that are unlawfully just robbing the system of benefits,” he said. In August, San Mateo County officials charged 21 people with conspiracy that includes a Rancho Cordova woman, Ronnelle...
    By MARTY HOBE of WTMJ-TV and BRAM SABLE-SMITH of Wisconsin Watch/Wisconsin Public Radio. MADISON, Wis. (AP) — As Wisconsin businesses shuttered this spring to slow the spread of COVID-19, jobless filings and phone calls flooded the Department of Workforce Development — too quickly for staffers to keep up. But DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman remained optimistic. In a May 4 email, Frostman told Unemployment Insurance Division Administrator Mark Reihl to “hang in there.” “If we can get through May, I think we will be cooking with gas with all the new people on board and call centers up and running,” Frostman wrote. Three days days later, Frostman emailed Reihl before a meeting: “We have a great story to tell of our staff working themselves to the bone on behalf of claimants and we’ve been putting the pieces in place to build that necessary infrastructure to succeed through COVID.” Staring down nearly...
    Almond flour is nutritious and healthy. Photo: jennyleenaguirre / Pixabay There are currently many alternative options to common wheat flour. With the intention of reducing the use of white and refined flours, one of the options that has become popular is almond flour, which incidentally can be consumed by people with celiac disease since does not contain gluten. Almond flour is made from ground almonds and can be replace wheat flour in almost any recipe, from breads and pastas to breaded, cookies and sandwiches. What are the benefits of almond flour? Helps prevent cardiovascular diseases Almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats, they are good fats that reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, thereby can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as published by the American Heart Association. Increase your intake of protein and fiber Almond flour is a food rich...
    SAN FRANCISCO – A 66-year-old Brisbane attorney and former financial analyst for the Federal Reserve System has been charged with wire fraud in a criminal complaint by U.S. Attorney David Anderson. Lawrence Rufrano made his initial appearance Tuesday before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero in San Francisco. Rufrano worked as as a senior supervisory financial analyst at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System until leaving due to a supposed long-term disability. He began collecting long-term disability payments from the Federal Reserve System from around January 2014 until March 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Later in 2014, his application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits was accepted. “While he was collecting disability benefits, Rufrano claimed that his condition was deteriorating, that he was not working, and that could not hold even a menial job,” the office said in a news release. The attorney’s office...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Brisbane attorney and former financial analyst for the Federal Reserve System has been accused of faking a disability and collecting disability benefits while working at other jobs. Lawrence Rufrano, 66, was charged with wire fraud in a criminal complaint by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson. Rufrano made his initial court appearance Wednesday in San Francisco. Rufrano worked as a senior supervisory financial analyst at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System until leaving due to a supposed long-term disability. He began collecting long-term disability payments from the Federal Reserve System from around January 2014 until March 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Later in 2014, his application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits was accepted. “While he was collecting disability benefits, Rufrano claimed that his condition was deteriorating, that he was not working, and that could not...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For Florida Senate District 39, Republican candidate Ana Maria Rodriguez pretty much sums up what’s at stake in her race with Democrat Javier Fernandez. “The Senate has 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats. Because there is such a tight balance in the Florida Senate there is a lot from the Democratic side to flip it to blue to take control of the Senate,” she said. Download The New CBS4 News App Here This year, half of Florida’s Senate seats are up for reelection in November. Democrats have made Senate gains in the past decade and they see a chance to take control. “The Florida Senate for the first time in decades is actually in play,” said Fernandez. “This is one of the very important races across the state to change the leadership in the Florida Senate and bring balance in politics back to Tallahassee.” RELATED:...
    The Maryland Department of Labor is, in the words of Gov. Larry Hogan, “moving heaven and earth” to clear a backlog of 49,000 unemployment claims. When Hogan announced $250 million in the latest effort to help small businesses on Thursday, he was asked about the status of claims — in particular, what’s being done to speed up the response to the backlog. Maryland struggled to handle hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims last spring, and the state was slammed by state lawmakers and many applicants who described waiting on the phone for hours. Hogan said that the department of labor had handled 788,000 claims since the coronavirus pandemic struck. “That’s more than we usually do in several years,” Hogan said, and nearly 94% of those claims had been resolved. Some 622,091 applicants got payments, while another 116,000 claims were denied because they were found ineligible for benefits, he said. Maryland...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of thousands of Illinois’ gig workers, contractors, or self-employed workers have applied for jobless benefits due to COVID-19. And for months, we’re been hearing horror stories from applicants who say they haven’t seen a dime. The CBS 2 Investigators are uncovering just how many of these out of work people are still not getting paid. Our public records request produced nearly 500 pages of weekly status reports. Those reports are sent from Deloitte, the contractor hired to install and maintain the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) state website, to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The reports reveal why people like Jonathan Robinson, who filed for PUA benefits, haven’t received their money. Jonathan Robinson didn’t get fired from his leasing job in April. But he might as well have. Because after schools shutdown he had to take over as primary caregiver...
    The COVID-19 pandemic has clouded many national and state policy decisions since it emerged, but in Florida, the coronavirus outbreak has exposed at least one glaring truth: the unemployment system needs an overhaul. The signal event was the collapse of Florida’s unemployment website in March, when the state’s unemployment rate tripled to 12.9 percent. The crash left hundreds of thousands of newly jobless Floridians waiting weeks for their first benefit checks. The state has spent more than $100 million to upgrade the system, which Gov. Ron DeSantis called the “the equivalent of throwing a jalopy into the Daytona 500,” by purchasing 72 servers, reassigning 2,000 state workers and contracting thousands of private call center employees to assist. Republicans have joined Democrats in vowing to reassess the state’s unemployment system when the 2021 legislative session kicks off in March, but Democrats struck first Thursday by introducing a draft...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — For more than six months there has been an ongoing headache for those calling the State of Illinois multiple times for help with unemployment benefits. As part of CBS 2’s commitment to Working for Chicago, Steven Graves looked into the industries laying off the most people. Bermary Rivera has no job, and questions keep coming as she continues to see her benefits cut. “After July I haven’t really heard from them, maybe one time,” the Chicago resident said, referring to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. When the former hospitality worker did talk to someone, “the man was really rude and disrespectful,” she said. “I just had a simple question as to why my benefits had changed,” Jon Hinman said. He missed his initial callback. “They called back again, and I said hello three or four times and they hung up on me,” he said. State leaders say...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- State lawmakers demanded answers from the EDD's top officials today on why thousands are still waiting for benefits, while fraud remains rampant. It happened at an assembly hearing Wednesday.The EDD took two weeks to "re-set," and lawmakers asked today what's improved since then. They weren't too impressed with the answers.RELATED: East Bay widow can't get tax refund until she proves death of husbandEDD officials reported that a new ID verification system is now in place, and 64 percent of new claims were automatically verified. But lawmakers said EDD has barely put a dent in a backlog of 1.6 million claims that go back as far as June - and won't get cleared up until next year, leaving many folks still waiting for benefits."You've done some caseloads, but it went down from 1.6 million to 1.3 million, so not a big dent in that... You're saying you...
    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine System has announced a projected $2.5 million in savings per year through a change in health insurance for retired employees that will expand coverage and add flexibility. Former employees and lawmakers have raised concerns about the proposed changes that were planned without input from retirees or unions, the Portland Press Herald reported. System Chancellor Dannel Malloy said Wednesday in a letter to state lawmakers that the change from a group benefits plan to a Medicare exchange will not result in retirees or their spouses losing coverage. “The actions we are taking will greatly expand the benefits available to our retirees even as they permit UMS to manage its limited public resources more efficiently,” Malloy said. “We are fully committed to our retirees and will simply not allow this transition to result in any retiree losing supplemental coverage.” Under the new system, retirees...
    Garlic cloves are a healthy addition to any meal. chrisboy2004/Getty Images Garlic has a high nutritional content for its size, with significant amounts of vitamin C, selenium, manganese, and iron.  There is also some evidence that consuming garlic may help strengthen the immune system, reduce risk for certain cancers, improve heart health, and even boost athletic performance.  To achieve these health benefits, you should consume no more than 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic each day.  This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City. Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice. Garlic is an easy flavor addition to many types of meals. And beyond its widespread use for taste and seasoning, garlic can actually provide notable health benefits.  Here are five benefits of garlic and how much you should add to your diet. Garlic is...
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania’s “woefully outdated” computer system used to handle unemployment claims will not get previously promised upgrades. For the past few months, The Department of Labor and Industry’s Secretary Jerry Oleksiak has said the new system would go live in October. With just a few days to go, the state announced it will now pause the launch of the new system. This comes at the recommendation of state legislators, stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Labor, according to the Department of L&I. The release states: “Pennsylvania will avoid potentially disrupting people relying on unemployment compensation by pausing the launch of the new system that will change how to file for claim and benefits.” The state is still using 50-year-old technology to process claims. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller interviewed Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in August, who described the system as “woefully outdated” ad “held together with bubble gum and rubber...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A Glenview man is suing the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), saying the agency owes him more than $6,400 in unemployment benefits.  John R. White filed the small claims complaint in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday. He accused IDES of withholding benefits after a system “glitch” when he applied for unemployment online in May.  White’s complaint comes amid the agency’s struggle to handle the influx in claims during the pandemic. This includes a laundry list of system issues reported by many who attempted to file for unemployment.  View this document on Scribd White, a contract consultant who works in financial services, said a local company terminated his services in April due to COVID-19. When he learned he would qualify for unemployment funds as part of the CARE Act, he applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits which specifically assist gig workers.  “The first day it became...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A Glenview man is suing the Illinois Department of Unemployment Security (IDES), saying the agency owes him more than $6,400 in unemployment benefits.  John R. White filed the small claims complaint in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday. He accused IDES of withholding benefits after a system “glitch” when he applied for unemployment online in May.  White’s complaint comes amid the agency’s struggle to handle the influx in claims during the pandemic. This includes a laundry list of system issues reported by many who attempted to file for unemployment.  View this document on Scribd White, a contract consultant who works in financial services, said a local company terminated his services in April due to COVID-19. When he learned he would qualify for unemployment funds as part of the CARE Act, he applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits which specifically assist gig workers.  “The first day it became available in...
    SACRAMENTO —  Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday defended his efforts to fix an outdated state unemployment benefits system that has delayed payments to tens of thousands of Californians who have lost their jobs since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and face increasingly dire financial circumstances. A “strike team” investigation ordered by Newsom was released late Saturday night, concluding that the number of bogged-down claims continues to rise by 10,000 a day — even though the governor had pushed to clear the backlog by the end of September. The report estimated that it may take until January to fully address the backlog. Newsom said that actions being taken by his administration will allow unemployment claims to be processed substantially faster and put money in the hands of Californians more quickly. He again blamed the delays on the unprecedented influx of unemployment claims filed during the pandemic, a crush that overwhelmed...
    During a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic and the wildfires burning in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom took some time to address the ongoing economic fallout that has left millions of Californians unemployed -- and many of them frustrated with the state's EDD, or Employment Development Department.The department was overwhelmed by the volume of unemployment claims that have been filed over the past six months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. EDD announced it is taking a two-week reset period in which it will not accept new claims in order to clear a massive backlog and also work to prevent fraud.An EDD strike team found 600,000 workers still have not received benefits they applied for at least three weeks ago.MORE: Unemployment claims paused for 2 weeks as report reveals 600K awaiting benefits in EDD backlogNewsom called the backlog "unacceptable" Monday and said the two-week reset aims to make things...
    SACRAMENTO —  California’s antiquated unemployment benefits system requires a complete overhaul to overcome significant problems that have delayed getting money to many left jobless during the COVID-19 pandemic, a strike team appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday. The 45-day review by technology and government experts found that the backlog of unresolved claims at the state Employment Development Department is rapidly growing by 10,000 a day and, though Newsom wanted it eliminated by the end of this month, will take several more months to be cleared. The report was requested by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July after months of complaints from unemployed Californians frustrated with the state agency for failing to process claims, leaving them without the benefits needed to pay their bills. The EDD has also come under fire from state legislators, who last week approved an emergency audit of its performance in response to the criticisms and following...
    LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s been months and Simone F.M. Spinner is still unable to get her unemployment. We started talking with her in March, when she was applying for help as a gig worker. (credit: CBS) “I work in hospitality and wine and academia, tourism. All of those industries have just been decimated.” At first when she applied for unemployment, the state was trying to get a system up and running to provide assistance to gig workers like Simone, who gets the majority of her income from freelance work. “I understand back when I talked to you in March that these difficulties were happening and gig employers, gig employees were never able to apply before but they’ve had six months to figure this out.” And still, she’s having troubles. The State of Colorado said it had fixed the tool many people were stymied by as they tried to apply for...
    D.C. residents detailed their hardships in fighting to get their unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic to a council committee Wednesday. Their stories were part of a public oversight hearing held by At-Large Council member Elissa Silverman, who chairs the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Many residents, such as Robert Duker, signed up to tell their experiences of trying to get assistance from the District’s Department of Employment Services, or DOES. Duker, 72, said he was laid off from his job as a bellman at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill when the pandemic shutdown started. It was the first time he had been out of work in 44 years. “A week later, I applied and received a letter from the unemployment office, stating I had been approved for $425 a week and would get my initial check April 11, 2020,” he said. Then, as Duker tried to use...
    D.C. residents detailed their hardships in fighting to get their unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic to a council committee Wednesday. Their stories were part of a public oversight hearing Wednesday held by At-Large D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman, who chairs the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Many residents, such as Robert Duker, signed up to tell their experiences of trying to get assistance from the District’s Department of Employment Services, or DOES. Duker, 72, said he was laid off from his job as a bellman at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill when the pandemic shutdown started. It was the first time he had been out of work in 44 years. “A week later, I applied and received a letter from the unemployment office, stating I had been approved for $425 a week and would get my initial check April 11, 2020,” he said. Then, as Duker tried...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The jobs crisis continues, with more than 25,000 people in Illinois applying for unemployment benefits last week. But with fraudulent claims plaguing the system, and the state taking weeks to return calls for help, we continue to hear from people struggling to successfully apply and receive the benefits they need to survive right now. CBS 2 is committed to Working for Chicago, and on Thursday, we learned the state is adding investigators to tackle these fraud issues. But is it enough? That’s what CBS 2’s Tara Molina was asking Thursday night. We’ve learned the Illinois unemployment office has 15 investigators looking into fraud right now. They’re in the process of adding 20 more because of the rising number of fraudulent claims. Those are claims we know are preventing people who are entitled to benefits from getting them. “I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride,”...
    Jennifer Haynes, a self-employed chef and single mother living in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is struggling to make ends meet after unemployment benefits abruptly stopped in July without explanation. Meanwhile, the 42-year-old is the sole provider for twin boys, one of whom has special needs.Jennifer Haynes Jennifer Haynes didn't just fall through cracks in the country's social safety net. In her case, it's been more like a chasm. Haynes, 42, a self-employed chef and single mother living in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had been getting $167 a week in unemployment benefits and an extra $600 a week from the federal government. The aid was enough to catch up on a few months of bills and feed her 11-year-old twin boys. But then the California unemployment office mysteriously stopped sending benefits in July, even though Haynes' catering business remained at a standstill. Her applications for federal assistance from a widely used small-business loan...
    Fantasy: Can Fournette thrive in Bucs loaded lineup? (Early projections) Dangerous roads you should never drive in an RV The pandemic is giving the US a chance to fix its embarrassing unemployment benefits. Top economists tell us what the future of this crucial system could look like. © David McNew/Getty Images Accessing unemployment insurance might drastically transform after the coronavirus pandemic, experts say. David McNew/Getty Images Before 2020, US unemployment claims have never been filed in such high numbers — or had such outsized importance. The process has been slow and cumbersome, with many Americans claiming that they struggled to get access to benefits due to outdated and underfunded systems, and one survey estimating that 4 million claims have gone unfiled. Business Insider talked to 4 experts who predicted the future of unemployment benefits in the US, along with some of the many applicants who tried and failed...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban man who has been out of work since June thought he had successfully navigated the Illinois unemployment system. But then, his benefits seemed to disappear into thin air. For months, we have been exposing problems within the state’s unemployment system and cases of fraud. This is a case of fraud too, but with a twist – and the victim never saw it coming. Financially speaking, Chirag Tewar and his family are OK – for now. “I got through August. I can probably get through the end of September. But then it just gets harder, because you’re taking about over – it’s going to be two months without any, you know, benefit payment,” Tewar said. In June, the Bartlett accountant lost her job when his company went bankrupt due to COVID-19. He filed and certified for unemployment benefits and got them – for a month, until...
    Saaba Mahmood will avoid jail time after she was found to have defrauded the British taxpayer in collecting the benefits of her Pakistani relatives who left the country. Mahmood, 36, claimed nearly £100,000 in state benefits over a five-year period in the name of her aunt and uncle even though they were ineligible to receive the handouts as they were living in Pakistan. But despite admitting to four counts of failing to disclose information to make a gain and one count of fraud before the Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Mahmood will avoid jail time after being given a suspended sentence. She will merely have to attend a 15-day programme to educate her on the law at a cost of £1,500. The convicted fraudster claimed in the trial that she was unaware that claiming benefits for people living outside of the country was illegal and her lawyer argued that...
    By MARINA VILLENEUVE, Associated Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s labor commissioner says the state is ready to rapidly ramp up its unemployment system again in case the pandemic surges and the economy must shutter once again. The coronavirus pandemic has taken the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers and efforts to reduce its spread by closing businesses in New York City and state forced millions out of work. The state had an unemployment rate of 15.7% in June, up from 3.9% a year earlier. “We are ready,” state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said during a Thursday legislative hearing. “We know that should the second wave come, we know where the pain points are.” New York has doled out $40 billion in unemployment benefits to 3.3 million New Yorkers in over five months, up from $2.1 billion in benefits processed in all of 2019. Over a third...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Lawmakers in Pennsylvania met to try and solve the state’s unemployment problems. They want to know why the system keeps failing and how to fix it. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports 98 percent of eligible people who filed for unemployment between March 15 and July 4 have either been paid or found ineligible. Wednesday’s hearing was about the remaining two percent still waiting for a lifeline, like Jamie Fair. “I am debating on taking out a loan just to survive,” Fair said. “But at the same time, I have to pay interest on that. Are they going to pay interest on my unemployment that they’ve held from me this long?” State representatives asked labor and unemployment secretaries why constituents, like Fair, are not receiving benefits. “The state of Pennsylvania’s unemployment system has failed tens of thousands of people,” said Rep. Eric Nelson. The...
    Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) What is the FAAB waiver system and why use it in fantasy football leagues?There are plenty of ways to spice up any fantasy football league. As opposed to having a snake draft, you could go the auction route, or even play dynasty. But one thing that could make things interesting in your league is adopting the FAAB waiver system. What is it and why should your league consider using it? What are the benefits to going with this waiver system? The Fantasy Footballers give a brief explanation of what the FAAB waiver system is and why it provides a new level of strategy towards picking up players. First off, FAAB stands for Free Agent Acquisition Budget. This means you have an allotment of money to spend on players who are on waivers. Think of this as an auction style draft, but...
    Many liberal and progressive economists have pointed out that the United States does not have nearly as strong a social safety net as other major developed countries — and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a far-right Republican and major ally of President Donald Trump, has, in effect, admitted that they are right. During an interview with WFOR-TV, a.k.a. CBS4 (a CBS affiliate in Miami), DeSantis told anchor Jim DeFede that that Florida’s unemployment system is designed to frustrate those who are out of work and make it difficult for them to apply for benefits. With the coronavirus pandemic having caused double-digit unemployment in the U.S. and sent the country into a recession, DeFede asked the Florida governor, “Do you believe that the system was, in part, put together the way it was to discourage people from being able to collect unemployment?” And DeSantis responded, “I think that was the animating philosophy....
    By SAM METZ, AP/Report for America CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits to workers who decide returning to their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic is too risky. "What this intends to do is to allow people to not have to choose between their jobs and their lives,” said Francisco Morales, who presented the bill on behalf of Gov. Steve Sisolak's office. Throughout the Legislature's special session, both Republicans and Democrats have said fixing Nevada's problem-ridden unemployment insurance system is a top priority. After years of growth, the pandemic propelled Nevada's economy into a tailspin. With businesses closed and visitor volume down in Las Vegas, unemployment shot up to a nation-topping 28.2% in April. The unemployment rate fell to 15% in June. Balky technology, jammed phone lines and confusion over eligibility have hamstrung the Department of Employment, Training and...
    SACRAMENTO —  Facing a flood of complaints from jobless Californians who have been unable to obtain unemployment benefits, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday he has formed a “strike team” to address issues with the system and will streamline the process for resolving claims. The announcement came on the eve of a legislative hearing on problems in the unemployment insurance program at which department officials are expected to be grilled over complaints of computer glitches and clogged phone lines that are preventing claims from being filed. “There should be no barriers between Californians and the benefits they have earned,” Newsom said in a statement. “Unprecedented demand due to job loss during this pandemic paired with an antiquated system have created an unacceptable backlog of claims. Californians deserve better, and these reform efforts aim to move the [Employment Development] Department in that direction.” The new strike team will be headed by Government...
    Report: Multiple coaches, GMs believe NFL season amid pandemic is ‘dead wrong’ Three Things to Know Before Buying a Label Maker Why unemployment is a broken system: It really is an experiment out of control Unemployment systems pay less aid to fewer people and for a shorter period of time than in decades past, research shows. Some states, mostly in the South, are less generous than others. The dynamic is playing out during an unemployment crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, and while Congress figures out whether to extend a $600 weekly boost in pay. © Provided by CNBC Demonstrators rally near the Capitol Hill residence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to call for the extension of unemployment benefits on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The unemployment system is fraying. Load Error Unemployment benefits are less generous than in decades past, in key metrics like...
    Demonstrators rally near the Capitol Hill residence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to call for the extension of unemployment benefits on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images The unemployment system is fraying. Unemployment benefits are less generous than in decades past, in key metrics like duration, amount paid and the share of unemployed who receive aid. The aggregate result is less money going to fewer people for a shorter amount of time. This dynamic is playing out during an unemployment crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, when nearly 32 million people are collecting jobless benefits. More from Personal Finance:GOP propose second round of $1,200 stimulus checksGOP plan slashes unemployment by 43% for average workerHow the eviction crisis across the U.S. will look Federal aid, namely an extra $600 a week, has provided a temporary stopgap since late March. But expiring relief now puts the...
    Strengthen the immune system to another level with this powerful orange smoothie and medicinal spices The consumption of this shake is associated with great benefits for weight loss, improves digestion and provides a lot of energy. Photo: Image by Roberto Justo Kabana from Pixabay / Pixabay In the last months immunity has been one of the most important health issues and is that coronavirus pandemic has left us several lessons, probably among the most important is the importance of review our habits and lifestyle. The truth is a strong immune system protects us above all pathogen attack, as is the case of Virus and bacteria that relate to various diseases and infections. That is why today we have been somewhat bombarded with numerous immunostimulatory trends and tools. feeding plays the most fundamental role, nature is wonderful puts at our disposal a long list of...
    SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side has been reporting on the struggles of folks who lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic, and never got their unemployment benefits. Complaints about EDD are still pouring in, many desperate for help. On top of that, the $600 weekly supplement ends *today.* However, amid the gloom, a reason for hope.We've heard so many horror stories, so much frustration: folks can't get benefits, can't find out why, and they're running out of money for rent and food. But as many were about to give up, they came to 7 On Your Side.The chorus of voices told the same tale."You just keep calling all day long," said Patricia Tierney from Sonoma, of the EDD.FAQ WITH EDD: From getting through on the phone to $600 payments, 7 On Your Side gets your questions answered"I still don't know why I was disqualified. I wrote them...
    President Donald Trump and the Republicans are caught in a Catch-22, an apparent no-win scenario. The extended federal unemployment benefits of $600 per week is expiring. The benefit has helped many families keep food on the table. On the other hand, it has also discouraged people from seeking jobs, since many jobs pay less. If Republicans try to end or reduce the benefit, they will look nasty — right before the election. If they agree to renew it, America may depend on it forever. There is a way to cut through this Gordian knot, and it involves technology. A major problem thus far with unemployment benefits has been that they are provided through the states, each of which has a different system for filing and handling the claims. Some of the states have been overwhelmed by the flood of applications by newly-laid-off workers. Many have had to wait for weeks...
    Gov. Roy Cooper called on state legislators Tuesday to improve North Carolina’s unemployment compensation system in light of the economic crisis caused by the response to COVID-19. Cooper said lawmakers failed to address the system while in session over the past few months. He is concerned the end of a federal unemployment supplemental payment program could have a deeper impact on North Carolinians. “This extra $600 (per week) has been especially important here in North Carolina, where the Legislature several years ago slashed unemployment insurance benefits to among the lowest in the nation and made them available for only 12 weeks, “ Cooper said. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which ends Saturday, offers unemployed workers an additional $600 per week for 13 weeks. Claimants can get up to $350 weekly under the state’s regular unemployment insurance program. North Carolina’s unemployment trust fund is supported...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. JB Pritzker named a new director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the agency responsible for issuing benefits to the nearly 1.4 million people who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic since early March. On Thursday, Pritzker announced via a news release that Kristin Richards, current Chief of Staff to the Senate President, will serve as director. Tom Chan was the agency’s acting director in the more than four months of the pandemic. He will remain with the agency in his previous role as deputy general counsel, a state spokesperson said. Chan had been with IDES for five years, according to his LinkedIn page. His profile shows he held roles as assistant legal counsel and acting chief general counsel, prior to becoming acting director last March. The leadership change comes after the agency struggled to handle the backlog of an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims due...
    When Fall River-based Robbins Manufacturing laid off David Ficke on March 29, the welder followed in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites during the coronavirus pandemic. He filed an initial unemployment claim, hoping it would help him survive a shutdown of much of the state’s economy. But when a call to the state’s unemployment help line placed him in a queue of 400 to 500 people, Ficke knew he would wait a long time for a lifeline. Unable to pay rent, he moved into the “Hotel Chrysler” — his 2006 Town and Country minivan — and drove to a rest stop outside of Albert Lea, Minnesota. He wanted to be near his 3-year-old daughter who was living with his ex-wife. Ficke’s ex-wife discovered he was living in his van and insisted that he stay with them. That is how he ended up living with his ex-wife, her parents...
    Re: “Walters: High-Speed Rail could finally be derailed” (Opinion section, Mercurynews.com, June 14): Dan Walters suggests a recent legislative one-house resolution may sound the death knell for the high-speed rail project. The project — in his opinion — suffers from an “abject lack of a clear public benefit.” The facts, including successes in many other countries around the world, suggest otherwise. The public will greatly benefit from continued creation of jobs, tackling climate change, easing traffic congestion and affordable housing opportunities. An all-electric high-speed rail system that connects the major economic regions of our state is ambitious to be sure. But the benefits are real. We must invest in a transportation system that improves mobility and helps achieve our ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. Related Articles Letter: Change to police forces should come from within Letter: Many people in Tulsa aren’t happy with upcoming Trump rally Letter: Air pollution in...
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