Florida lawmaker calls for special session to address unemployment crisis

Sen. Randolph Bracy seeks to extend benefits
Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 21:20:19-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As thousands continue to file for unemployment in our state, a Florida lawmaker is calling for a special session to address the issue.

MORE: Florida Democrats make push to extend unemployment benefits

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, a Democrat from Orange County, sent letters Wednesday to the Speaker of the House and president of the Florida Senate asking for the special session.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | We're Open South Florida

The state senator says lawmakers need to address the slowness of the website, as well as how long people can claim benefits.

Right now, Florida residents can only claim 12 weeks of unemployment benefits, while some states allow 26 weeks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has made paper applications available to help those who can't connect to the website. State workers are also being trained to help with the backlog of unemployment benefit calls.

To apply for unemployment benefits in Florida, click here or call Florida's Claims Assistance Center at 1-800-204-2418.

If you are having trouble accessing the online application, click here to download a Florida Reemployment Assistance Application and mail it to the following address:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

Below are Sen. Bracy's letters calling for the special session: