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Defending the appeals board

February 06, 2009

Re "Jobless benefit appeals pile up," Feb. 2

I am outraged by the eagerness to blame the past California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board administration for the deluge of unemployment appeals.

Yes, there is an enormous backlog of cases. But to scapegoat the previous head of the organization is disingenuous, if not a political ploy by highly paid, inexperienced appointees trying to escape blame for their lack of understanding of the process.

With respect to resolving cases within 30 days, the appeals board often does not receive a case until that deadline is close or has even passed. The CUIAB offices put cases on the calendar as soon as they are transmitted. Each administrative law judge is handling an enormous load of cases each day.

Given California's large population, the many failing corporations within our borders and the CUIAB's lack of adequate workers, it is no wonder we are in this mess. Even if there might have been some family members working in the CUIAB, their presence has had nothing to do with this crisis.

The CUIAB needs people who will roll up their sleeves and get to work -- not those merely trying to extend their political connections at a high salary.

Annette Debs

Santa Ana

The writer is an administrative law judge for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

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