Annette Taddeo seeks answers on stalled unemployment claims

annette taddeo
Taddeo says constituents have been denied for not seeking work despite the requirement being suspended.

Sen. Annette Taddeo is authoring a letter to the state seeking to ensure individuals are not denied unemployment compensation if they are failing to seek new work.

Prior the novel coronavirus outbreak, out-of-work Floridians were required to submit proof they were searching for a new job in order to receive benefits from the state.

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) waived those requirements as the state’s job market collapsed during the COVID-19 crisis. Though some businesses in the state have begun reopening, that waiver has been extended through the end of May.

Still, Sen. Taddeo says multiple constituents have reported being denied access to those benefits because they are not searching for a job, despite the waiver.

“I recognize the progress your office has been making in processing and paying Reemployment Assistance claims, however, too many Floridians in my district and throughout the State continue to have their unemployment claims ignored, delayed, or denied since losing their jobs due to COVID-19,” Taddeo wrote in a letter to Department of Management Services (DMS) Secretary Jonathan Satter is now overseeing the process to reduce the unemployment claims backlog.

She relayed those reports and attached three letters showing examples.

“This is completely unacceptable and I am requesting that you take immediate steps to fix the claims review process to ensure that claims will not be denied on this basis,” Taddeo wrote.

Satter took over the unemployment claims process from DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson as the DEO’s ability to handle the surge in claims sputtered.

Those issues led to a huge backlog in the state, which Satter has attempted to work through. As of Thursday, the state had made it through 1.1 million of nearly 2 million unemployment claims stemming from the crisis.

DeSantis teased a Friday announcement that the state would soon be moving to Phase Two of its reopening plan to help alleviate some of the ongoing economic stress.

Staff Reports


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