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DEO says technological glitches impacting unemployment payments

Hundreds of thousands of people have filed for unemployment within the state of Florida and are still waiting to receive their checks.
Hundreds of thousands of people have filed for unemployment within the state of Florida and are still waiting to receive their checks.(WCTV)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service

June 10, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- An unknown number of people who applied for and were receiving federal pandemic unemployment checks suddenly saw their payments stop in mid-May.

The Department of Economic Opportunity says it is working on a fix as protests continue.

Kathy Walker received four $600 checks from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program managed by the state.

That was until her last check on May 19.

“They just stopped. And we don’t even know where to go to see why that happened,” said Walker.

We provided Kathy’s name and claimant number to the state on Tuesday.

DEO said it found two technology concerns it's working to fix.

It told us the only thing Kathy and others need to do is keep requesting benefits if they’re still unemployed.

At the Capitol, a handful of people protested the overall lack of available benefits Wednesday morning.

Organizer Judy Tanzosch said she’s seen a lot of complaints about checks stopping.

“In the various groups on Facebook, a lot of people complaining in May their Federal payments just stopped,” said Tanzosch.

Among the protesters was a prominent Tallahassee lawyer.

Fred Harris and his family own a restaurant in nearby Quincy.

When it closed, the family thought its employees wouldn’t have any trouble getting benefits.

“We pay unemployment premiums, so we felt like they would be taken care of, but a lot of our employees have been unable to access the unemployment benefits,” said Harris.

And for Kathy, the news that DEO was aware of her situation wasn’t at all comforting.

“Right now, my state payments are a $113 and part of me is…is it even worth the headache?” said Walker.

The state processed its two-millionth jobless claim on Sunday, disqualifying about one in three applicants.

Anyone unemployed on March 29 can receive the additional $600 federal payment through the week of July 31.

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