ORLANDO, Fla. - Ashley Rohlfing was laid off on March 20 and has been trying to push her online unemployment claim through ever since.
“We’re going on four weeks! Four weeks of this, all day every day! I just want to play with my kid and know I can pay my bills,” said Rohlfing. “I was finally updated to I’m eligible, with a monetary determination this week and that I needed to log in today to claim my previous two weeks.”
A simple instruction she said that proved easier said than done.
“I set an alarm, I got up 7 a.m., I logged in, then almost through one week before it kicked me out. And, the site has been down ever since,” Rohlfing added.
She estimates she has spent more than 120 hours fighting to get her claim processed and she still hasn’t received a dime.
Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy’s office is getting inundated with calls from frustrated people like Rohlfing.
“Their frustration, and it’s often desperation is evident and it’s heartbreaking,” Congresswoman Murphy said. “What’s standing between them and those resources is their state government. So I’m extremely frustrated with the state government.”
She has created an online survey asking Floridians who have applied for unemployment since February 1 to log on and answer eight questions about their experience.
“Within the last 24 hours we have received thousands of responses,” Murphy said.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the week ending April 4: California had 925,000 people file for unemployment; New York had 345,000; Illinois had 200,000; and Florida had 169,000.
“My dad is in Nebraska and he said, he called to check on me because it’s on their news stations all the time about what a joke this is, why does Florida have to be such a joke on everything?” Rohlfing.
Congresswoman Murphy said once her survey has been online for a week, she’s going to have her staff compile the data, and share the findings with Gov. Ron DeSantis as well as leaders at the federal level.