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DEO processes nearly 400,000 unemployment claims over the weekend, many more still waiting

Posted at 9:10 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 09:10:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are finally seeing some progress on the state's unemployment website, as the Department of Economic Opportunity plowed through their backlog over the weekend.

Unfortunately for some of them though, the money was less than expected.

State officials completely shut down the unemployment website Friday, saying they were taking the weekend to process some claims.

Sunday's number from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows they've processed nearly 400,000 applications since Friday.

Rose Curry's application was one of the 400,000 that did get processed. Curry said she filed for unemployment after being laid off from her job in a dental office nearly five weeks ago.

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"I was constantly getting kicked off, kicked off, error, clean your cookies, do this. I would probably say I've spent 100 hours, at least, in between trying to file for claims," said Curry.

Unfortunately for Curry, she says her claim didn't account for any retroactive pay.

"I got one week's pay, and that was for the week of April 18, that's it," said Curry.

She's hopeful that additional money is on the way, after Florida's head of unemployment benefits, Jonathan Satter, announced anyone who lost their job after March 9 would receive back pay.

Still, others in the Tampa Bay area haven't received any money at all.

"I work for Dillard's, I work in cosmetics, I've been there for two years, and I love my job, I can't wait to go back to work," said Denise McIntosh, who also filed for unemployment nearly five weeks ago. "And that's why I'm very insulted by Rick Scott's claim that Florida workers don't want to go back cause we're getting so much money. We haven't even gotten our first check yet."

According to the DEO's website, nearly 1.2 million claims still need processing. However, some of those claims may be duplicates that may be inflating that number.

But the number of claims processed just this weekend is up significantly. On Friday, around 218,000 claims were processed. As of Sunday, just over 610,000 were processed

"This has been a tsunami that this system was not built for, and look, this system is a bad system, and it was overpriced, and I don't know why they paid that much money for it," said Governor Ron DeSantis in a press conference in Orlando on Sunday. "But I would also say, even if you built the perfect system, six months ago no one would sit down and say 'well, you should maybe plan on the economy just voluntarily ceasing.'"

The DEO says the Connect website will be back up and running on Monday.

Governor DeSantis says he also hopes to have an update on the unemployment status on Monday.