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Unemployment claims, struggles for benefits continue to mount

CareerSource West Palm location to reopen Monday
Posted at 3:24 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 18:36:12-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New numbers released Thursday show unemployment claims continue to mount across the country.

In Florida, many people are still struggling to receive any assistance.

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Albert Savelli, a chef at Miles Grant Country Club in Stuart, was laid off in late March because of the pandemic.

"It's been a little ridiculous. It's been hard on my family," said Savelli.

Two months later, he said he still hasn't received any unemployment assistance.

"My application now online says I'm active and eligible. So, why haven't I received any payments since March?" Savelli asks.

He is 60 years old with three small children and the sole provider for his family.

Savelli said the stimulus check from the federal government helped pay bills, but now concern is growing without any unemployment benefits.

"My fear is losing the house and not being able to take care of my family and my children not being proud of the dad," said Savelli.

Albert Savelli
Albert Savelli (center) said he has been out of a job for two months and yet to receive any unemployment benefits.

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that U.S. jobless claims passed 40 million since mid-March, with another 2.1 million first-time unemployment claims filed last week.

"In just one month's time when this began we had more calls and emails then we'd normally have in two years," said Tom Veenstra of CareerSource Palm Beach County.

CareerSource is working to provide some help and will reopen its West Palm Beach location Monday with limited services. They will provide access to computers and printers and someone to speak with in person for help with unemployment.

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"People are hurting at this desperate time," said Veenstra. "We do have people that can answer questions and help guide you so we'll certainly do that as well."

Customers are required to wear masks and will need to answer a few screening questions.

CareerSource's offices in Belle Glade and Delray Beach will remain closed for now but will still offer virtual services and help by phone and email.