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State of Florida updates website for unemployment applications

(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service

April 9, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Department of Economic Opportunity has revamped its website, making it more user friendly and unveiling a way to apply for unemployment benefits from a mobile device, but the agency is still overwhelmed with claims.

The week began with 560,000 unemployment claims filed over a three week period.

One viewer emailed us that they were unable to enter multiple employers for the year on the mobile app.

We asked DEO spokesperson Tiffany Vause about it.

“We are looking into that issue. But that user should just go ahead and fill out the employer that they have. And then once they get uploaded into Connect, it we have more questions, a DEO representative will call them to finish out their claim,” said Vause.

Another viewer told us she was still being asked about whether she had made five attempts at finding a job this week.

“Floridians can just select no and it's not going to prevent you from getting claims because the Governor has waived that requirement,” said Vause.

The Department said employees on loan from the Department of Revenue are dedicated to verifying the backlog of applications.

The Department told us some COVID-19 checks are being sent, but couldn’t say how many.

At $275 a week for 12 weeks, the benefits are among the lowest in the country.

Florida’s incoming Senate President told us if or when lawmakers come back, benefit levels will be revisited.

“Everything is going to be on the table. I think right now, our top concern is making sure people have what they need,” said Senator Wilton Simpson.

We also asked about retroactive benefits for people who couldn’t apply because of the website crashing.

The Department would say only that everyone will get what the benefits to which they are entitled.

If you are using a mobile device,

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