Overview – What’s New!
The What’s New! page will highlight upcoming changes and added features that EDD has been working to develop in order to enhance the customer experience with our programs and services.
Enhancements to our online services for managing your payroll taxes
On March 1, 2012 updates were made to e-Services for Business. The new features include a faster response time and the ability to access e-Services for Business on multiple operating systems, tablets, and smart phones. Additionally, this new application no longer requires the installation of Microsoft Silverlight. Visit the e-Services for Business Information page for enrollment information, video tutorials, and FAQs.
Expanded online services now available for managing your payroll taxes
A new automated system that lets California employers manage their payroll taxes online is taking the paperwork out of tax reporting and making the whole process more convenient. This new system for administering California’s payroll tax programs is the most significant change in the state’s payroll tax process in the past 25 years.
NEW E-SERVICES FOR BUSINESS
Employers can now simply log onto e-Services for Business here on EDD’s Web site to complete a wide range of payroll tax functions. Employers and their agents can file reports and forms online. They can make payments and deposits electronically, knowing their information is secure.
Forms to report new employees and independent contractors can be filed from 5 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week. Other e-Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Taxpayer Assistance Center will continue to offer personal assistance to employers by phone.
The enhanced e-Services allow employers and their representatives to:
- Register online for an EDD account number.
- Access their account information at anytime.
- File more payroll tax forms and other reports online.
- View payment history and their liability for each period and any balance due.
- View payroll tax correspondence from EDD.
- View their Unemployment Insurance tax rate and rate history.
- Make payroll tax deposits and other payments online, using credit cards and electronic funds transfer.
- Pay additional liability types with a credit card.
- Request their current and past three years of payroll tax rates.
These new e-Services coincide with the change in payroll tax reporting requirements. Instead of reporting taxes on a yearly basis, employers must now file their payroll taxes quarterly, starting with the first quarter of 2011. Quarterly reporting and the new payroll tax system enable EDD to identify tax overpayments sooner and send refunds out to employers more quickly. For further information visit the Recent Changes in Payroll Tax Reporting page.
This new system and enhanced e-Services illustrate EDD’s commitment to improving customer service in every facet of our operation.
Receiving your benefits will soon be faster, easier and more secure
EDD is launching a faster and more efficient system of delivering payments to millions of California recipients of Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave and Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Instead of waiting for checks to arrive in the mail, recipients will soon have their benefits deposited directly into a debit card account. They can then use their EDD debit card immediately anywhere that Visa debit cards are accepted – in stores, online, or by phone. Recipients can also arrange for direct deposit of benefit payments to their own bank account.
This new payment system will be phased in beginning with Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits in November 2010, to be followed by Unemployment Insurance. Advisory notices are now being sent to DI and PFL customers to ensure they are aware of the upcoming change.
Each recipient will receive a personalized debit card and information on using the card. There will be no fees for many transactions, including:
- Purchases and cash back from merchants that accept Visa debit cards.
- ATM withdrawals at domestic Bank of America ATMs.
- Two free ATM withdrawals per deposit at non-Bank of America ATMs.
- Unlimited teller cash access at any bank or credit union that accepts Visa.
- Unlimited balance inquiries at ATMs, online, or by calling live customer service.
- Unlimited automated and live customer service inquiries.
- Card replacement.
The new electronic payment system is just one of the many innovations EDD is initiating in the coming months – all with one goal in mind: improving service to our customers.
Customers will soon see exciting new UI service options and improvements in our call system
EDD is excited to announce a major upgrade to the Unemployment Insurance telephone system that will improve our call system and offer a number of advancements for our customers. The new system will be up and running in EDD’s existing UI call centers later this fall, with expansion to be phased into nine additional UI centers to follow afterward. This upgrade replaces outdated technology that has limited the department’s ability to answer calls as the number of calls soared to record levels during the recession.
The many advances offered by this new system include:
- EDD Tele-certSM: This feature will enable most customers to submit their biweekly UI claim forms via the telephone, instead of filling out and mailing a paper form. This will expedite payments and reduce payment delays caused by errors in completing claim forms.
- Expanded Self-Service Options on the Phone: Claimants and employers alike will be able to quickly get answers to many commonly-asked UI questions, without the need to speak to an agent.
- Increased Capacity to Answer Customer Calls: By making more agents in other centers available to answer calls during peak workload periods, the system will expand and improve our capacity to answer your calls.
- Improved Call Routing: Calls will be routed statewide to the first available agent with the specific skills needed to best assist each customer.
- Enhanced Caller Claim Information: The new system will provide Call Center agents with greater claim information to help each customer more efficiently.
Look for further updates on the upgraded call center system and online automation enhancements coming your way over the next several months.
Disability Insurance Automation Project Will Further Improve Services for SDI Customers
A new state of the art computer system will give hundreds of thousands of Californians faster and easier access to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, which pays Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits.
EDD’s SDI Program has long relied on a paper-based system to process claims, which has limited our customers’ ability to utilize modern technologies to obtain SDI and PFL services. That will soon change, as SDI moves into an Internet-based system that will allow claimants to file applications online and doctors to submit medical certifications electronically. Most importantly, our customers will find the process faster and easier to complete.
SDI serves an important role for those in need: DI benefit payments help Californians survive economically while unable to work because of an illness or injury not related to their job. PFL payments provide a financial safety net enabling California workers to do something that many could not afford to do otherwise: take time off from their jobs to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child. Last year, SDI and PFL staff handled close to 1 million claims and sent out $4.3 billion in PFL and SDI benefits.
PFL, the first program of its kind in the country, celebrates its sixth anniversary this month. California’s PFL Program has become a model for other states seeking to implement similar programs. This latest automation project promises to take customer service to a new level for our PFL and DI customers. The new online services are scheduled to begin rolling out in the Spring of 2011 with PFL Bonding Claims. Online filing for PFL Care Claims and all DI claims is scheduled to roll out in late Fall of 2011. Look for further updates in the months ahead on the changes coming in the claim filing and benefit certification processes.
New expanded e-Services will enable employers to efficiently handle their payroll taxes online in 2011
The Employment Development Department (EDD) will significantly expand its e-Services for Business in the spring of 2011. Employers will be able to keep track of their accounts and do much of their business with EDD’s Tax Branch over the Internet. These new services will enable them to quickly file returns, make payments, view account information, and manage their accounts securely online.
The new system will also eliminate the annual reconciliation process for employers starting with the 2011 tax year. New quarterly tax forms for next year are currently under development to allow for reporting total Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxable wages and State Disability Insurance (SDI) taxable wages. This will result in faster refunds and identification of amounts due each quarter.
This Internet-based system is the most significant change in the payroll tax process in the past 25 years. It will revolutionize the way EDD’s Tax Branch does business and communicates with employers.
The new Expanded e-Services for Business, quarterly forms, and redesigned account statements will support EDD’s goal to “make employment taxes a breeze” for California employers. Look for further updates and details on these exciting changes in the coming months.
Unemployment Insurance Transformation
Enhanced Online Application: Later this spring, EDD plans to implement a new more user-friendly version of the eApply4UI online claim filing option that will be available for all customers, including those who’ve worked in federal government and military positions. This format will allow EDD to gather more clarifying information from customers up front and reduce the need for follow-up interviews. This should allow for faster claims processing and improved efficiency at the department. Look for further details in the weeks ahead.
Internet Continued Claims Filing: This project, planned for this summer, provides a Web option for many customers to complete and submit their bi-weekly continued claim forms instead of the mail-only option used today. Going paperless will help customers by reducing common fill-in errors that can cause benefit delays. Such errors can occur in up to 30% of claim forms received so we are anxious to provide an online option that should provide greater customer ease and a more efficient delivery system.
Electronic Benefit Payments: In early fall, EDD plans to begin paying UI benefits on a Visa or MasterCard-branded payment card that will also enable claimants to elect direct deposit. This new payment system will allow customers to receive their benefits faster than the current process of printing and mailing checks and it will create savings and efficiencies in processing. We also anticipate the new system will eliminate check cashing fees for our customers who do not have a bank account.
Call Center Upgrades: This project is being implemented in phases. All UI center phone systems are being replaced through this project. Come this fall, unemployed workers will be able to submit their bi-weekly claim forms through the phone system as well as online instead of through the mail as is currently required. During the next several months, additional enhancements will be made in the aging call center infrastructure that will expand our capacity to answer calls and reduce wait times experienced by customers.
Continued Claims System Redesign: This is a more long-term overhaul project that will transform the continued claims processing from paper to electronic. While the Internet Continued Claims Filing project noted above will provide an online option for customers to submit their bi-weekly claim forms for payment of benefits, back-end processing will still require EDD to maneuver through an antiquated system. Once that system is modernized the department will experience greater efficiencies. That translates into a faster receipt of unemployment payments by a few days for our customers, as well as greater access to their claim status information. Customers will have the ability to manage their accounts and obtain information over the internet that currently requires them to contact the department. This large project is underway and is expected to be complete in 2012.
For a detailed timeline and description of these technology projects affecting the UI program, review the Unemployment Insurance Transformation chart.