NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion N Palm Beach CountyJupiter


Problems persist with Florida unemployment system as state looks to dismiss negligence case

Jupiter worker says application stalled for 9 weeks
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 22, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. — A judge in Leon County heard arguments Monday over a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.

The suit accuses the state of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in handling the unemployment benefit system.

“The job isn’t finished, yet but DEO's efforts have made substantial progress, and they will continue,” attorney Daniel Nordby said in the hearing which was held over a Zoom teleconference call.

Nordby said since the problems first surfaced in March, the state has paid out over $7 billion in unemployment compensation.

The judge said he will rule on the dismiss motion at another time.

Pat Stewart
Jupiter resident Pat Stewart said her unemployment application has been stalled for nine weeks because the state was able to validate her Social Security number.

In Jupiter, worker Pat Stewart has been trying to get benefits since she stopped working her self-employed position in website maintenance.

“The [state's] website is just a nightmare for people to navigate,” Stewart said.

She says her application was stalled for nine weeks because the state system was able to validate her Social Security number.

She said that issue was finally resolved this month, but she still hasn’t received any money.

WPTV contacted the Department of Economic Opportunity about Stewart, and they said they are looking into her application.

“I just want the benefits. Honestly, I just want the benefits,” Stewart said.