ORLANDO, Fla. - Hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims are flooding the state. Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to try to help the thousands of people left without a job by lifting one of the requirements.
It may come as a relief to many Floridians that the order waives the bi-weekly requirement for people to recertify that they are “actively seeking work.” The latest unemployment numbers have wiped out all of the jobs created since the Great Recession in 2009.
In Florida, more than 800,000 people have filed jobless claims since the coronavirus started closing businesses across the state in March.DeSantis said of those people, roughly four percent have received unemployment checks. That’s about 33,600 people.
Right now DeSantis is dealing with the state’s broken unemployment system by signing an executive order eliminating the requirement for people to provide proof that they are looking for new work every two weeks.
“Certainly this is not a time to get bogged down in bureaucracy and get bogged down in red tape,” DeSantis said. “So this will hopefully free up some more space to be able to move more claims through. It’s not a silver bullet. There are a bunch of moving pieces, but I do think it will help.”
The governor promised that everyone who needs to file for unemployment will be able to do so and more resources are on the way to help. He said they are adding more than 100 new servers and will soon have 2,000 people taking calls.
Officials with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said if you filed for reemployment assistance benefits and it is being processed, there is nothing more you need to do and that payments will be issued as soon as they become available.
DeSantis said he is creating a task force on how to best re-open the state to get people back to work.
From the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:
There are multiple ways to submit an application for Reemployment Assistance.
- New applicants can complete an application online at FloridaJobs.org/RAApplication.
- Complete a paper application by following the steps online at FloridaJobs.org/COVID-19. Then mail your application to: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity P.O. Box 5350 Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350
- Visit your local CareerSource center for assistance filing your claim. CareerSource can offer assistance with online and paper applications. Please visit CareerSourceFlorida.com to find a location near you. We recommend calling to confirm your local center’s hours of operation.
- FedEx is also offering Floridians the option to print and mail applications in storefronts located throughout the state free of charge. Please visit FedEx.com for a location near you.
You can also complete an application online at FloridaJobs.org/COVID-19.
If you have questions or need assistance completing your application online, you can contact DEO at 1-800-204-2418 for assistance.