TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As a record number of Floridians desperately try to claim unemployment, the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity reported Thursday that just 4% of the 825,000 applicants its received since last week, have been processed.
I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern found there’s still no word on why federal dollars haven’t yet been added to Florida’s unemployment checks.
In Florida, the cap for unemployment is $275 a week, among the lowest in the country. So the federal government set aside extra money to help the unemployed — an additional $600 a week.
But out-of-work Floridians tell the I-Team the state has yet to give that money out.
Jennifer Arthur worked as a consultant for Disney Cruise Line before she was laid off, due to the coronavirus.
“I just would like to know, one, where I am at in the backlog so I can at least try to plan ahead, two, when are they going to start dispersing the $600? And then three, how will I know — when will I know that my unemployment application has been processed? Because at this point, I don’t have any of those answers,” said Arthur.
As of Wednesday, even Governor Ron DeSantis couldn’t seem to answer how many people received unemployment checks.
“Every morning I should know how many claims have been paid. Right now, it’s hard for me to even get those numbers and that’s unacceptable,” said DeSantis, in a news conference.
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The I-Team has contacted the state’s unemployment office every day, working to get questions from the unemployed answers. So far, the Department of Economic Opportunity has provided little information.
The I-Team will continue to stay on this issue and provide updates as they come in.