TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Almost 94% of Floridians who have submitted unemployment claims since March 15 remain unpaid.
That’s according to data released Monday by the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, which will now provide a dashboard updating the status of a system that has struggled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We understand the challenges to the CONNECT system have only added to the stress on Florida families, and my number one goal is to ensure Floridians in need of reemployment assistance get paid, quickly,” said Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, who was put in charge of the system last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis. “This will start with complete transparency, efficiently streamlining the reemployment assistance process, waiving all red tape and ensuring hurting Florida families have the aid they need to get through COVID-19.”
The dashboard, which can be found here, is planned to update daily with the number of reemployment assistance claims submitted, verified, processed, and paid.
The initial dashboard shows that over 1.5 million claims have been submitted between March 15 and April 19, and the state has verified nearly 650,000 unique claims. Over 162,039 (24.8%) of those have been processed and 40,193 claimants have been paid (6.2% of the confirmed unique cases submitted).
According to the state, just under $60 million has been paid to claimants in that period.
DeSantis last week also announced an executive order suspending the biweekly “actively seeking work” reporting requirement of people claiming unemployment, saying that is one of the bureaucratic hurdles that have hampered the state’s response time during the pandemic.
“We need to get people paid,” DeSantis said Thursday.
A staggering total of about 22 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits in the past month.