SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) is proud to announce that the Governor has signed his legislation to reform government policy, combat fraud, and protect citizens from identity theft. AB 12 will prohibit state departments and agencies like EDD from sending outgoing mail to an individual containing their complete social security number.
“This simple adjustment will safeguard Californians and their privacy while also helping to reduce the rampant fraud recently seen in California’s unemployment benefits system,” said Seyarto. “Full social security numbers are being incorrectly delivered by government agencies to strangers, putting citizens at risk for identity theft. Californians deserve better service from their government, and it was my honor to carry this legislation.”
In a report released by the California State Auditor in 2019, it was discovered that in one year alone, EDD mailed out over 17 million pieces of mail with social security numbers, with many of those letters being sent to the wrong address or recipient and potentially endangering the identities of millions of Californians. In January 2021, a new audit determined that more than $11 billion in EDD benefits were paid out on fraudulent claims, and an additional $19 billion in suspicious claims were under investigation.
AB 12 was the first bill Assemblymember Seyarto introduced during the 2021-2022 legislative session, moments after he was officially sworn into office.