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Florida workers surprised by questions on unemployment site

Job search requirement had been removed by DeSantis
Posted at 4:39 PM, May 12, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's troubled unemployment system took people by surprise this week.

Some of Florida’s unemployed workers were surprised and confused over a state website question about job searches, a requirement supposedly waived by the governor.

RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis contradicts unemployment requirements

Rosalind Vietri was taken by surprise when she checked in on the status of her unemployment benefits online. She was met by a question about searching for other jobs, a requirement that had been removed by the Gov. DeSantis, but still popped up this week.

“Everything posted says you do not have to do this up until May 30,” says Vietri.

According to the Department of Economic Opportunity's social media pages, Florida’s governor extended the job search waiver until May 30.

“Everything was originally waived through May 2, and then they did a quick Band-Aid, waived everything through the May 9 and then they decide to bring claiming weeks back, so that started this week. However, they extended the work search and registration requirements through the end of the month,” said Ty Menard, who runs a Facebook group for Florida workers with unemployment problems.

Menard said the job search questions are embedded in the process for claiming weeks, which is a requirement that has started up again in Florida.

Menard’s advice is to just type in “waived by the governor” in the boxes for job searches.

“There’s been a lot of people trying to help and say, 'Just say what you have to say to get past the page,' and that’s not necessarily the case definitely don’t lie," said Menard.

“I may be back to work before everything is resolved it’s kind of crazy,” said Vietri.

She said the website says her benefits are now pending again, but the job search questions should not be deal breakers since that requirement is suspended through this month.

The Department of Economic Opportunity offers the following advice regarding the confusion:

“The work search requirement has been waived for weeks beginning March 15, 2020, to weeks ending May 30, 2020. This means that for the weeks between this timeframe, you are not required to report five work search contacts. However, you will still be asked if you looked for work when you request their benefits. You may respond by clicking “yes” or “no.” You may click “no,” and this response will not delay or prevent you from receiving your benefit payment.”