Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hoping to speed up unemployment payments

Posted at 4:21 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:28:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Faced with an unprecedented amount of unemployment claims, Gov. Ron DeSantis is hoping to help Floridians get much-needed money from the state.

"Ultimately, we need to get people paid," the governor said in Tallahassee on Thursday. "That's gotta be the number one priority."

DeSantis said the state's new mobile-friendly Pega website where Floridians can submit unemployment claims has come under extreme pressure of late.

The governor said a provision in state law requires jobless residents to recertify every two weeks that they're still unemployed, which has put the system under too much stress.

In an effort to relieve that pressure and cut down on the number of people visiting the website, DeSantis signed an executive order on Thursday which suspends the requirement for residents to recertify their unemployment status.

"From what the technicians told me, that will relieve some stress on the system," DeSantis said. "This will hopefully free up some space to move some more claims through."

The governor said, since March, Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity has delivered more than 121,000 payments to Floridians totaling almost $50 million.

On Wednesday, DeSantis announced that Jonathan Satter, the Secretary of Florida's Department of Management Services, is taking over the unemployment claims system.

To file for unemployment benefits, click here.

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According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 22,897 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 633 deaths.