More than 1.1 million Florida unemployment claims now processed

Unemployment theme with virus craft objects
Florida's rejection rate now is just over 30% of processed claims.

State authorities now have processed more than 1.1 million unemployment claims and have sent checks to nearly 700,000 people who have lost their jobs since mid-March.

Through Tuesday, Florida had clawed through more than half of the nearly 2 million unemployment compensation claims submitted by workers contending they lost their jobs because of the coronavirus economic crisis.

Florida has paid some form of unemployment compensation to nearly half of the claimants confirmed, according to the most recent unemployment claims reports posted by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The latest report, covering efforts through Tuesday and posted Wednesday, shows Florida still is rejecting just over 30% of all processed claims.

Almost two out of every three Floridians whose claims have been processed have gotten approved for some sort of relief, and the vast majority of them have gotten checks, some getting state reemployment assistance, some federal pandemic unemployment compensation, and some federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

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Through Tuesday, 1.9 million applications had been received; 1.4 million had been sorted as unique (not duplicate) claims; 1.16 million were processed; 708,000 were deemed as eligible; and 694,000 Floridians had been paid.

About 333,000 Floridians who applied for unemployment compensation have been denied.

Overall, Florida has paid $618 million from the state fund and $1.15 billion from the federal funds, for a total of $1.77 billion in payments sent to Florida’s unemployed workers.

This comes as the state makes noticeable progress in trying to catch up on the enormous backlog of claims that had built up since March 15 as Florida’s CONNECT unemployment compensation application system collapsed from being overwhelmed and inadequate.

The efforts, led by Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, drew some praise Wednesday from critics of the state’s urgency to help unemployed workers get relief, including Democratic Sens. Randolph Bracy of Ocoee and Linda Stewart of Orlando.

Bracy and Stewart received a review Wednesday of the state’s expanded unemployment claims operations in Tallahassee. They said the handling of jobless claims has improved but still needs work.

Also, they said the state needs to replace the $77.9 million CONNECT system, which went live in 2013 and is now the subject of an internal investigation at the direction of DeSantis.

“The secretary said DEO just doesn’t have the money to put up a new system, but it’s necessary because it’s an antiquated system,” Bracy said. “I just think the current administration has to prepare better for moments like this, so that we don’t have months where constituents have to wait for their unemployment compensation while they’re actively looking for work.”

Since the end of April, authorities have been able to process more than 400,000 claims and get payments out to more than 260,000 additional unemployed workers. The total amount paid has nearly tripled, from about $600 million that had been paid through April 30.

Florida also has decreased its rejection rate, which was as high as 40% in late April.

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The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


14 comments

  • Harvey

    May 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I have a number of friends that are starting to receive their state benefits with a weekly maximum of $275, but nothing on the Federal Cares funding of $600/week that is supposed to be paid from 3/29-7/31. Even if you can get through by phone to their new contact center: 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) they have no info on when that will start to flow.

  • Kendra Gale

    May 13, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    This is more BS! I applied in March as a 1099 independent contractor and was denied. They zeroed out my wages and said I had no FL income. I reapplied 4/23 & provided birth certificate, SS card,1099s and contracts from those employers (who are NOT working to confirm, I think thats what the 1099 and contracts show). I have since been stuck in limbo waiting for a PUA link that is for gig workers like myself. There seems to be no way to get this link or money owed me. I expect to be paid my back monies due back to March 29. I will fight till I get every last penny because this is a horrible stressful way to treat ppl. The governor spouts these numbers but take a minute and read the posts in these groups on Facebook. We can’t pay bills, feed kids, put gas in the car.

  • Harvey

    May 13, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I feel terrible for you Kendra and thousands of others in the same predicament. It is quite clear that Trump wants everyone back to work, even if the jobs are temporary and without any safety guarantees or insurance. Keep fighting, I hope you get all the money that is coming to you.

  • Kris

    May 13, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve been paid $750. As of today I am still owed $5475.

  • Valerie Sprieser

    May 14, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Really? It seems like on Facebook no one in Monroe county has got a cent from unemployment or the CARE act! The majority of us have been out of work since March 17th ! 😡

  • Esteban yu

    May 14, 2020 at 10:22 am

    My state benefits already exhausted and they owe me $5000 of federal benefits , I got only $ 600.I qualify for the PEUC program but they are still working on building a new program to apply ( 20 days already).But the main problem is that there is not any way to claim. They dont want to pay the $600 retroactive.

  • Steve C

    May 14, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I am a 30+ year realtor in Florida. I applied in March and was denied in April. I was told I had to apply again which I did. Nothing has happened since and no correspondence from the state. I do not know a single realtor that has received benefits unless they had a second job that paid into the state unemployment system. I do not believe the state is paying the self-employed the $600 Cares Act monies. I wish someone would ask how many self-employed applicants that are not eligible for state unemployment because they did not pay the tax have been paid Cares Act monies?

  • Beth

    May 14, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Self-employed sole proprietor, out of work since 3/13. Second application is still pending and can’t yet apply for PUA. I think the goal is that they hope people like me lose everything, start over and just look for an employer. It’s designed for micro businesses to fail and for us to be dependent on a small wage from a large business.

    • SANDRA OLIVA

      May 15, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Oh, my Gosh, this is CRIMINAL to make folks already suffering from unemployment jump thru too many hoops BEFORE THEY CAN GET THROUGH TO PROPER AUTHORITIES. THIS IS A GAME TOO DIRTY TO PLAY,OFFICIALS/DESANTIS!!! MISERABLE CROOKS!

  • MARGARET RUPPENTHAL

    May 16, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Good morning Scott,

    On the issue of unemployment, I stayed on my job as a cashier for publix for as long as I could,, my last day was April 8th, 2020
    My children were concerned and asked i take a leave of absence because of the state issued self quarantine if your 65 and over with health issues which unfortunately I fell into this category. I filed for unemployment Covid-19 on April 9th., I have made numerous calls to no avail the person on the other end were unable to get into my account to see what was going on because they didn’t have the authority . Now 7 almost 8 weeks later still nothing and I live from paycheck to paycheck.
    Is there anyone in Florida that can honestly answer questions as to when I will be getting unemployment. My anxiety level is thru the roof.

    Thank you in advance if anything for just listening,

    Margaret

    • Harvey

      May 16, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Margaret, I feel so bad for your situation. Which phone number have you been trying? A friend had success reaching a live person at their new number. I would also try that same number below during the week even if it is about your claim.

      If you have general questions that are not claim specific, please call 1-833 FL APPLY (1-833-352-7759) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

  • Harvey

    May 16, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Margaret, I feel so bad for your situation. Which phone number have you been trying? A friend had success reaching a live person at their new number. I would also try that same number below during the week even if it is about your claim.

    If you have general questions that are not claim specific, please call 1-833 FL APPLY (1-833-352-7759) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

  • Margaret Ruppenthal

    May 16, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    I have tried the following numbers
    850-245-7105. Rings busy
    800-204-2418.
    833-352-7759

    I have gotten through but was told the person I spoke with didn’t have the ability to access my account try the same number I called click on ask specific questions but it doesn’t go thru, I have emailed from the DEO site have had no answers, I have applied from the mobile site, then sent in a paper application by fed ex as requested still my account is active, monetary is pending.

    • Harvey

      May 16, 2020 at 3:11 pm

      have you attempted to reach out your state or federal representative or senator?

      just got one of these…Did you apply for Florida Unemployment Benefits in March or April and are STILL WAITING for your claim to be processed and/or receive benefits?

Comments are closed.


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