‘Check the bank account’: Governor’s hopeful words for unemployment claimants

The Governor said CONNECT was dead before his team fixed it.

As Florida’s economic crisis deepens, Gov. Ron DeSantis counseled optimism to jobless Floridians waiting for benefits.

“Check the bank account as the day goes on,” DeSantis told reporters in Fort Myers Monday. “There’s a whole bunch of money going out.”

DeSantis noted that DEO “worked hard” to reconcile issues with applicant information, and that progress was made last weekend.

“They processed 166,609 new claimants over the weekend,” DeSantis said, with money adding up to $450 million. “That’s a huge amount, particularly for this system.”

That reference is to Florida’s failed unemployment website, which has buckled under the strain of a surge of applicants after the Governor shut down large swaths of the economy in March and April.

The Governor has taken other steps to keep the system as close to functional as possible, including extending job search waivers so applicants, at least temporarily, don’t burden the website.

However, weeks still have to be claimed.

“The system was basically dead,” DeSantis added, saying that while it currently is “not 100%” it has “come a long way.”

The Governor noted federal aid available to those who do not qualify for state programs has created its own problems in terms of dubious applicants from different states or even foreign countries.

There are, he said, a “lot of things you have to do in terms of fraud protection.”

For DeSantis, the unemployment issue continues to follow him from stop to stop, despite consistent attempts to message both attempted administration improvements and the fact that his team inherited the dysfunctional website from predecessor Rick Scott.

DeSantis has vowed an investigation into the CONNECT website “when the dust settles,” an evocative if unspecific turn of phrase. He has delegated that responsibility to Florida’s Inspector General.

“How long that will take, I don’t know,” DeSantis said Friday in Jacksonville. “When the dust settles, we’ll be able to get some answers.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Esteban yu

    May 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Governor

    When the state is going to start paying federal money ($600) retroactive to March 28?

    When the state is going to implement the “new program” that allows workers to apply for PEUC benefits? Your DEO chief told the press fifteen days ago that they were working on it. Fifteen days to build a program?

    The state of Florida owes me $ 3000 in federal unemployment money.

    How is it possible that the state of Florida can retain my money without paying for it?

    How is it possible that I do not have a way to claim what is mine.

    Is this the United States of America or a banana republic?

  • Frankie M.

    May 11, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Check’s in the mail…lol

    • Esteban yu

      May 11, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      Sure and with interest

      • Esteban Yu

        May 11, 2020 at 9:10 pm

        I checked my bank account,less money .They may have taken some money from me.

  • pete bartolik

    May 11, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    System seems to be down again this afternoon. Peace o’ crud.

  • Sheila Brodeur

    May 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Payments made to NEW applicants, what about those of us who’ve been pending since March? We’re stuck in a black tunnel with no end in sight. I know I don’t qualify for regular unemployment because I’m a independent contractor but process my application, find me ineligible so I can at least get the federal part.

  • vanessa ortega

    May 11, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    I want Desantis to be unemployed and asking for benefits,I got approved for unemployment today and it said that I had to claim for my prior weeks benefits when I clicked an error message came out..I am approved with no money and I will loose my benefits on may 21 st…After applying on paper on line..It’s a joke,he should e called Disaster…Will never vote for him awful

  • JDub

    May 11, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Processing new claimants while everyone that applied in March still pending or waiting to get a payment. Meanwhile the states government is making millions on the interest from federal taxpayer money.

  • Barbara

    May 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    DeSantis is talking about regular unemployment not Independent Contractor 1099 covered under CARE ACT. They have processed NONE of the 600.00 per week for those type of claims. Thats ok we make up 22 percent of the workforce in FL:

    Florida has a greater percentage of its workforce — 22 percent — classified as independent contractors or gig economy workers than any other state in the country, according to a February study by ADP Research.Apr 27, 2020

    Having 22 % of Floridian mad as hell at you will effect the election come Nov 2020

Comments are closed.


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