Nearly 2 million unemployment claims have been submitted in Florida

CORONAVIRUS UNEMPLOYMENT (1)
DEO received another 100,000 claims Friday.

Floridians have submitted nearly 2 million claims through the state’s unemployment system as the COVID-19 lockdown continues.

Of those claims, the state has verified 785,340 unique claims, but only 47% of those have been processed.

Just 21% have been paid.

In total, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has paid out $192 million in unemployment benefits to the newly jobless.

The Saturday report includes claims filed from March 15 through Friday. DEO now has 1.9 million claims, up 100,000 from the day before.

The department warns that a portion of total claims may be repeats and the count could later be adjusted as duplicates are found. As applicants struggled with the submission system marred in cascading failures, some resubmitted claims through other channels the state opened to give Floridians some way to report their employment status.

More than 727,000 people have filed through the original $77 million CONNECT system, which Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday told reporters was “designed to fail.” About 189,000 have mailed or delivered paper applications while nearly 1 million have submitted claims through a new Pega system designed to alleviate CONNECT.

Of the $192 million paid to people who lost their jobs in Florida, including non-Floridians who worked in-state, $116 million has come from the federal CARES Act, which offers $600 checks each week to unemployed Americans. Another $77 million has been paid through DEO’s Reemployment Assistance program.

Gig workers ineligible for the state unemployment benefits who have submitted through the state systems will get their federal checks even as they are denied state dollars. The state is working to establish a separate portal for gig workers to apply for federal benefits without going through the Reemployment Assistance system.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis waived the requirement that people confirm they are actively searching for work. The administration confirmed Saturday that the temporary rules do not conflict with the distribution of CARES Act dollars after a FOX 13 Tampa Bay report suggested otherwise.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


6 comments

  • Kendra Gale

    April 25, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Gig workers ineligible for the state unemployment benefits who have submitted through the state systems will get their federal checks even as they are denied state dollars. The state is working to establish a separate portal for gig workers to apply for federal benefits without going through the Reemployment Assistance system.

    What does this mean? Gig workers ARE ELIGIBLE! Why can’t someone tell the governor to fix this???!!!!!

    • Valerie Sprieser

      April 25, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Last Friday they said the portal was supposed to be up in 7 to 10 days ! That means it should be up by Monday??????

      • Kendra Gale

        April 26, 2020 at 12:35 am

        Why would they need to build another portal for gig, 1099, self employed anyway? We get the same benefits others do…can they not just approve them as they are submitted?

  • James

    April 26, 2020 at 12:16 am

    It seems the state is still playing games with us. We are told the work requirements had been suspended but the connect web site is still not working that way. Last week I still had to submit a list of contacts or the system would not let me claim my weeks. Even the local office in Jacksonville is not getting the notice. Twice on the SARA system I had been asked by the local case worker I was assigned to if I was still looking for work and who I had applied to. Either this requirement is waived or it is not. I have been unemployed for more than two months and in that time with hundreds of application I have not been called or emailed for an interview. No one is hiring and I have not received any federal benefit at all.

    • Kendra Gale

      April 26, 2020 at 12:38 am

      I called my local career central after the system asked me this 3 weeks ago. They told me when it asks if you were looking for work, you have to answer no. Then it wont prompt you for jobs applied for. There are so many problems it’s beyond frustrating. My sister in law applied in west Virginia last Monday and had a deposit of state and federal on Wednesday!

  • Michael James

    April 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I filed for unemployment on March 26, I have yet to hear anything. Denial or Acceptece. I work in hospitality and was played off on March 24. I have been unable to get any kind of help from our local, state, or federal government. I’m blessed to have a understand renter who is working with me on this atleast. When I do on the very rare occasion get ahold of someone all I get told is they are working as fast and hard as possible. This is a joke and our voter need to be reminded of this in our upcoming elections.

Comments are closed.


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