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Gov. Ron DeSantis says 97 percent of eligible unemployment claims have been paid

Posted at 6:21 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 18:21:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that 97 percent of eligible unemployment claimants have been paid.

Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis, joined by Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, held a news conference in Tallahassee focusing on the coronavirus, unemployment and jobless benefits.

During the press conference, DeSantis asserted that 97.6 percent of eligible applicants have been paid on their reemployment claims.

According to latest figures from the Department of Economic Opportunity, 1.4 million claims have been processed with more than $2 billion paid to unemployed workers since March 15.

Of more than $1.6 million claims, the governor said 28.6 percent of applications have been deemed ineligible. At the conference, he laid out the most common reasons an unemployment application is deemed ineligible or can't be processed.w

Most common reasons an application is deemed ineligible, according to the state:

  • Employment separation was deemed a discharge for conduct
  • Claimant voluntarily quit work without good cause
  • Claimant received income for the week they were claiming unemployment
  • Claimant was not able and available for work

Most common reasons an application is cannot be processed, according to the state:

  • Claimant did not provide info for all required fields in the application
  • Claimants identity cannot be verified/authenticated
  • Claim has been locked for suspected fraudulent activity
  • Claimant did not provide sufficient work history information

According to DeSantis' data, the DEO has paid out more in past 10 weeks than agency has in past five years combined.

However, he also still compared the state's system to a, “jalopy in the Daytona 500."

Satter said some callers to the state's phone line have had to wait on hold an average of one hour and 39 minutes.

“It’s really long and that’s the reason why we scaled up from about 40 people answering the phone to 6,000. We have hundreds of people that are in different stages of training, so we can get those wait times down,” said Satter.

Satter said the state received a million phone calls on Monday alone with 50 million phone calls since March 15.

You can watch the full press conference below: