Federal report slams Florida's jobless benefits program, but apparently, no changes have been made

Unemployed say benefits hard to come by

PORT RICHEY, Fla. - The US Department of Labor last month released a report slamming the State of Florida for making it hard on the unemployed to get their benefits. 

Phil Biscoglio found himself with more time to work on his model cars after the company he spent nearly 10 years with laid him off in April.

Biscoglio who is from Port Richey, says he quickly began applying for jobs and went online to file a claim for unemployment just in case.

He was denied over because there was no skills review assessment.  Turns out he did complete the assessment, but it was two days late, a deadline he did not know existed.

The consumer lost two weeks of unemployment over what he calls a system that makes it difficult for the jobless to obtain benefits.  

In April, the Department of Labor found that Florida violated the civil rights of jobless workers beginning in 2011 when it required them to apply online and take a skills test before they could get a check.

Last week I emailed the Department of Economic Opportunity  to ask what, if any, changes have been made to the system.

Apparently none.

In an email, a spokesperson responded.  "DEO, working with USDOL, is still in the process of identifying which, if any, initial determinations have merit.  DEO is carefully reviewing the Initial Determination.  Florida's Reemployment Assistance Program is accessible, open, and is successful at getting Floridians back to work."

The Department of Labor considers the benefits system particularly problematic for people who speak Spanish or Creole and the disabled.

But DEO points out the labor department vetted the changes made in 2011 to require online filing and the taking of a skills assessment review.

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