UNITED STATES−Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, April 15, he  signed an Executive Order to extend hours for the unemployment office call center and  redeployed 600 employees to man the phones at the Employment Development Department (EDD) to help a  2.7 million California residents who have filed claims for assistance.

The employees will join 740 others, making a total of 1,340 employees to assist those  filing for unemployment. New hours of operation will be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week.

“Many Californians are one paycheck away from losing their homes or from being able to put food on their tables, and COVID-19 has only made these challenges worse,” said Newsom. “California is focused on getting relief dollars and unemployment assistance in the hands of those who need it as quickly as possible.”

“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together,” added Newsom.

The governor included a plan to begin what was referred to as a “one-stop-shop,” starting April 28 for individuals applying for both unemployment insurance (UI) and the new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

PUA benefits are specifically for individuals out of work or partially unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those benefits include those who are self-employed individuals including contractors and gig workers. PUA benefits are generally issued within 24-48 hours, while UI benefits normally take 21 days.

Governor Newsom Announces New Initiatives to Support California Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Canyon News did reach out to Governor Newsom’s office to obtain a statement, but did not hear back before print.