Hundreds of thousands of workers in Washington lost work and income as a result of the COVID and the Stay Home Orders. Although the federal government and State responded by passing crucial policies to expand unemployment benefits, the Governor and his Employment Security Department (ESD) failed to deliver benefits and tens of thousands of unemployed workers still wait for their benefits in the wake of ESD paying criminals over $500 million in fraudulent benefits.
This summer, the state issued more than $576 million to fraudulent claims while hard working Washingtonians suffered and continue to struggle. The State has still not accounted for over $200 million from the fraudulent disbursements while families scramble to find solutions. ESD must set a clear timeline for processing claims and a review process of previous denials.Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
According to WorkingWa.org, over six months into the crisis, ESD claims they’ve corrected course and cleared their backlog of applicants, releasing weekly progress reports that appear to prove they’ve reined in delays. But the reality is that many workers who applied as early as March still haven’t received a single payment, or even a meaningful response from ESD.
The Governor and ESD created ‘Operation 100%’ in August and promised to clear the backlog and process all the claims filed since March. Unfortunately for thousands of Washingtonians, the Governor Inslee’s promise was not kept and numerous workers provided first hand testimonials to Working Washington detailing their frustrations.
Despite ESD audits evidencing significant deficiencies, the Governor stands by ESD decisions that left and continue to leave families and businesses struggling. As your State Representative, I will advocate for government transparency and policies that hold agencies accountable to the citizens of Washington.Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.