State: 40% of applications for unemployment benefits rejected in Florida

Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 16:16:51-04

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — A wave of rejections for unemployment benefits in Florida has left many disappointed after waiting weeks for a decision.

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"More frustrated than angry," said Michael Christy, a chef at Ke’e Grill in Juno Beach.

The restaurant, which on Tuesday started takeout dinner orders after being closed since the last week of March, has seen many rejections.

"I have a staff of 60, and at the present time I only know of two out of the 60 that have received any type of assistance," said general manager Rob McGrath.

Robert Ferrarie of Boca Raton said he got the bad news this week along other co-workers from the hotel where he was laid off.

"I make plenty of money to make the qualifications. I have never filed before and I’ve been employed since '77 when I moved to Florida," Ferrarie said.

The Department of Economic Opportunity’s dashboard web page shows about a 40 percent rejection rate for applications.

A state spokesperson said there are many reason for rejections including incomplete applications, and that many rejected applicants may still be able to receive the $600 in federal aid.

The department spokesperson added that self-employed and gig workers who applied before April 4 and were rejected can apply again.

Many who were rejected are looking at applying again and even appealing.

"I filed an appeal this morning. I emailed it off to them this morning and now I got to wait to see when that gets resolved," Ferrarie said.