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Florida workers push back on governor's claim of unemployment application problems

Website issues still hampering workers
Tracy Clark
Posted at 3:48 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 18:25:58-04

GREENACRES, Fla. — Unemployment issues are still hampering Florida residents as the economy works to recover and the state reopens.

Many people are still not back at work and others are not getting assistance.

Tracy Clark, a self-employed house cleaner from Greenacres, doesn’t know what to do. She has been turned down twice for unemployment benefits from the state and said she is running out of options.

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“Yet again, no reason why (I was turned down) other than you didn’t make enough in the base period, but they never asked for that information,” said Clark.

She also said she cannot access the application for the federal pandemic insurance, which is another problem with the state’s struggling website.

On Monday, the governor said some of the problems are with mistakes by the applicants.

Ty Menard, who runs a Florida unemployment support group, said many workers are being given the run around.
Ty Menard, who runs a Florida unemployment support group, said many workers are being given the run around.

“The questions built into the application are confusing. They allegedly were done that way on purpose, and we all know that part of the history of this thing,” said Ty Menard, who is also out of work and running a statewide Facebook group.

Menard is offering support for the unemployed and says this is not about incorrect answers.

“There’s a lot of people just being given the run around, it’s, ‘Oh, apply again,’ and they apply again, and the link is not there. Or when it is there, they apply through that and get stuck in the process,” said Menard.

He said he is fortunate to be getting some assistance, but for many like Clark, it is a nightmare that has gone on for too long.

DeSantis said Monday the state is making progress with the unemployment system, paying out benefits to more than 975,000 people.

At a Tuesday news conference, the governor said the state has paid out more money in the last 10 weeks than in the last five years combined.

Yet, he also still compared the state's unemployment system to a, "jalopy in the Daytona 500."

The governor said many people have been rejected for several reasons, including incomplete information and fraud.

“Obviosuly, you have to complete the application,” DeSantis said.