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Unemployed Delray Beach worker shares struggle, says she's owed 11 weeks of back pay

36,000 new employment claims in Florida
Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 17:10:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Weekly jobless claims announced Thursday were worse than expected.

According to the Labor Department, first-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 884,000 last week, higher than some economists' forecast of 850,000.

In Florida, there were 36,000 new claims.

Bianca Farage of Delray Beach has struggled to get answers about unemployment from the state.

"I'm owed two checks on hold for pandemic assistance. I'm owed 11 weeks of back pay," Farage said.

Out of work since March after losing her restaurant job, Farage has struggled with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity regarding a freeze on her benefits.

Amit Rampersad  and Brandon Siegler
Amit Rampersad (left), an out-of-work West Palm Beach disc jockey, and his friend, Brandon Siegler (right), have been a source of help for people struggling to file for unemployment with the state of Florida.

Farage said she has even tried getting help from an out-of-work disc jockey in West Palm Beach who has helped others with similar problems.

Unemployment numbers are trending lower these days, but the numbers are still high, and Farage is proof of that.

Because her benefits were held up, Farage said she had to use all the money she saved from bartending before the pandemic to pay for nursing school.

It is a new career that now seems in jeopardy.

"I finally saved enough money to be in a good position, and now I don't have anything left for it, and I'm going into the program soon, and I don't know how to do that if I don't have any money," Farage said.