Laid-off workers in the Sunshine State should get money going retroactively to the day they tried to file, Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday.
Since the middle of last month, thousands of workers who have been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic have attempted to file claims with the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) CONNECT system.
In many cases, they were unable to access the overwhelmed system.
DeSantis did not take action to make the additional payments a requirement. According to state law, benefits are typically calculated from the date an unemployment application is filed.
“If someone was trying to apply last Wednesday and the system wasn’t really working, you should count that as the day,” the governor told reporters. He says he also shared that sentiment with the DEO.
Had a very productive #COVID19 response roundtable this morning with @FLDEO Director Ken Lawson, @FloridaDMS Secretary Jonathan Satter and @FloridaRevenue Director Jim Zingale to ensure Floridians receive their assistance quicky. pic.twitter.com/oYCF5oLerh
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 6, 2020
In recent days, the state has reassigned hundreds of government employees to help process claims. It is also establishing a system to distribute and receive paper applications, which are already available through some libraries.
Additionally, Gov. DeSantis has hired a private call center firm, waived several requirements that applicants must meet in order to expedite the filing process, and had more than 70 servers added to the state’s unemployment system to handle the large number of claims being submitted.