California EDD suspending unemployment checks it considers high risk

California's Employment Development Department has suspended unemployment checks on claims that are considered high risk.

In a tweet, the EDD on Sunday said it's "informing those affected that their identity will need to be verified, starting this week, before payments can resume."

The EDD declined to say how many people are getting identity-verification requests.

In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed a team to investigate the growing backlog of unpaid claims. Among other complaints, the team dinged the EDD for manually verifying identities in a way that prevented legitimate claims from being processed while catching "relatively few cases of fraud."

During the pandemic, the EDD has been hit by massive fraud, including $400 million in jobless benefits, paid to jail and prison inmates.