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Floridians face additional hurdles with state's unemployment system as they claim benefits

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 13, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- One step forward, two steps back — that's how some Floridians describe the state's unemployment system now, weeks after they filed for unemployment.

You have until Sunday, technically, to claim your benefits for this week, but people say they are having troubles with either when they try to get into the system, and some are struggling with what seems to be a glitch. We also don't know if the DEO plans on shutting the system down for maintenance this weekend.

It’s been one month since Jennifer Burns put in an application for unemployment and just two days ago was the first time she received a check.

“It’s a lot to put together especially if nobody’s done it before. This is my first time in my life, ever, applying for unemployment,” she said.

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But the confusion continues this week after the DEO announced, per federal law, people would have to claim their benefits every two weeks. She received an e-mail that reminded her to log in.

“They said that you have two weeks that you can claim so I went to claim them and it said there’s an error message, you already claimed these weeks,” she said, perplexed.

Two days later, she logged back in and the error message was gone.

“So I never had to claim them,” she said. “They pushed them through and then they sent me a message saying you can go back in on May 18 and claim your next two weeks that are coming up.”

But others haven’t had that same luck. One man sent a screenshot that shows he was found “ineligible” because he “failed to meet work search requirements,” according to the site. That step, however, was waived by the Governor more than a month ago and extended just last week through May 30.

We reached out to DEO for clarification.

But, Burns says things need to be more clear for everyone.

“It definitely needs an A equals B equals C and here’s a picture,” she said.

And with so many people worried whether they can pay their bills, the Governor says they “may” have an announcement out later Wednesday, that could extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium until the end of the Month.