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Floridians express concern over claiming weeks through the state's unemployment system

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 05:02:43-04

Issues with Florida’s unemployment website continue five months after a massive amount of Floridians first started the application process.

Many of them have communicated with ABC Action News to share their DEO nightmares when it comes to getting benefits.

“This unemployment is absolutely necessary and a lifesaver because I’m only averaging something around 15 or 20 hours a week,” he said.

Unemployment checks have rolled into Cesar Centeno Jr.’s bank account since mid-April after he was furloughed from one of two part-time jobs at Tampa International Airport in March.

That’s when he began to fight his way through the application process just as hundreds of thousands of other jobless Floridians did.

“When I applied for unemployment, of course, all the madness, all the chaos that occurred, the technical mishaps and whatnot,” he said.

His tenacity paid off until very recently when an error message tried to keep him from claiming his most recent weeks.

“It wouldn’t let me go through,” he said. “It asked me a specific question -- when was the last time I physically worked at my present employer, it just would not let me go through.”

He tried to call the DEO only to be hung up on and with no clear guidance he says the only way he could move forward was to try and circumvent the issue which worked. Now, he’s worried it will mess up his claim next time.

“I just don’t have any confidence in it at all. This exorbitant amount of money that was spent on it, and yet we’re still having to deal with glitches and stuff,” he said.

Some folks say the last two weeks of June disappeared and can no longer be claimed after the system changed over to the new quarter July 1.

They fear that money will now be lost. We’re waiting on the DEO to tell us whether folks will still be able to claim those weeks.