‘We’re completely broke.’ Florida unemployment claims appear to fall even further behind.

‘We’re completely broke.’ Florida unemployment claims appear to fall even further behind.

“This is a shock like we’ve never seen before so we’re shifting as many resources to this as we can to be able to meet this real crushing demand,” Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters in Jacksonville on April 10, 2020.(Al Diaz/AP) TALLAHASSEE — In what was billed as Florida’s “test week” for its backlogged unemployment system, the state appears to be falling further behind, as hundreds of thousands continue to wait for benefits in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s only for $211, but I desperately need it,” said Deborah Collins, of Summerfield, just north of The Villages, who’s been trying to get benefits since mid-February, when the Aunt Fannie’s restaurant in Belleview where she worked as a server shut down after a fire. “We’re completely broke. I have some medication I can’t even pick up,” Collins said. “I’ve got one pill left for today, and then I’m going to have to borrow the money, I guess from somebody, and go get that medication.” Florida’s CONNECT system , which manages jobless benefits , was difficult to access even before much of economic life was shut down in mid-March and social distancing measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus. But with the inundation in claims, some people trying to apply for benefits say the system’s dysfunction makes it nearly impossible to get paid. Gov. Ron DeSantis and administration officials have cited progress in accepting more claims after making upgrades to the system , creating a new website , accepting paper applications , adding more servers and adding more workers to take calls on the helpline. At a news conference in Jacksonville on Friday, DeSantis said there were 225,755 initial claims filed this week so far, compared with the 170,000 last week and the 228,000 for […]

Original Post www.orlandosentinel.com

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