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Only 6.2 percent of unemployed Florida workers who filed claims have been paid so far

Unemployment rate in Florida is 4.3 percent
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Posted at 2:14 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:24:36-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  — New numbers Monday show Florida has paid out only about 6.2 percent of the 1.5 million unemployment claims submitted since March 15.

The state’s Department of Economic Opportunity dashboard says they have processed 162,039 of the claims but only 40,193 have been paid so far.

As of Monday, the state says $59.9 million has been paid to those who have filed for unemployment.

Florida’s unemployment site was inundated last month, causing frustration and long waits by people suddenly out of work after the downturn in the economy because of the coronavirus.

Unemployed workers like Susan Rothman of Delray Beach say the Florida’s unemployment benefit system is still causing stress..

Rothman said it’s been three weeks since she got part of the way through the website application. Now, she's not sure if her claim ever got through.

“I see it's worse. It’s worse because now I cannot get on it at all -- not at all. I have no idea what’s happening,” said Rothman.

The State Department of Economic Opportunity says upgrades to the website and system were made over the weekend and payments are being made to some. However, WPTV is still hearing from many unemployed workers who say they still are not getting anywhere.

“There’s moments absolutely where I’m worried. I haven’t worked for over a month now, and I have three children and a lot of bills,” said unemployed worker Natalie Cohn. “Absolute limbo and last week I did what I never thought I would do. I actually sent in a paper application because I have no idea if it went through or not.”

Earlier this month, the state finally allowed paper applications to file for unemployment claims.

After weeks of unemployment, a caravan was held Sunday from South Miami to Delray Beach to protest the state-at-home order and urging businesses to reopen.

The unemployment rate in Florida is 4.3 percent, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor.