MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – With lines growing for donated food and ongoing reports of frustrations, Florida’s beleaguered unemployment application system is back online after a weekend offline for fixes.
It’s been slow going again for many users Monday, increasing calls for Gov. Ron DeSantis to take even more action than he already has, including an emergency order.
DeSantis on Monday acknowledged that the system isn’t yet where it needs to be, but he delivered some good news.
“We were able this weekend to process another 300,000 claims and payments,” he said. “So that’s going to be hitting people’s bank accounts today and tomorrow.”
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website updated Monday to show more than 824,000 unique claims submitted during the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 80% have been processed, and now 47% have been paid. (That’s an uptick, as only 25% had been paid as of the site’s previous update from Friday.)
Since the growing disaster of a substandard system that couldn’t handle crisis need, DeSantis has increased server capacity and made fixes — but a backlog remains and Local 10 News continues to hear from several people encountering issues.
“You can’t log in all day long,” one frustrated user says. “And when you call, they just revert you to the online system. ... There’s no getting through whatsoever.”
🚨 #Florida unemployment site, taken off-line over the weekend, has been able to process about 300K claims, per @GovRonDeSantis ...money should hit bank accounts today & tomorrow.— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) April 27, 2020
Meantime, a sample of the emails we are getting from the increasingly desperate👇🏼@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/4WrvIEJBGE
Said DeSantis: “I get that people are antsy. They want the money. But I think having [the system] down [over the weekend] so you could process the money — at the end of the day, people want to see the checks cut.”
Some leaders suggest he now take an emergency action to ramp up the process.
“If he thinks that he doesn’t have those powers, then he should call the legislature into special session or use that budget commission that meets in between sessions to help him expand that authority,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.
If you’re looking for more information on how to file for unemployment benefits during coronavirus pandemic, CLICK HERE.