The State of Florida’s online unemployment insurance portal has faced crippling challenges due to unprecedented applicant filing. The trouble has been compounded by systematic problems that have reportedly been addressed by adding 72 additional servers and connecting a previously unconnected redundant system.
Florida faces a huge backlog after receiving 520,000 applications since March 15 alone. Governor DeSantis stated on Monday, 3.6.2020, that added human resources and system fixes will enable processing 80,000 applications per week. DeSantis announced Tuesday, March 7, the Department added 50 more unemployment center call takers and more are in the pipeline. DeSantis must direct whether claims will be paid retroactively, a policy that would be not only fair, but humane in this time of massive financial challenges, personal and businesses, created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those who do not have access to a printer to get a paper application (link is included below for your convenience), they are available at FedEx locations in Florida free of charge, to include free mailing to Tallahasse.
Also important to know is that the federal COVID-19 stimulus package, the CARES Act, includes extended unemployment benefits that include an additional $600 weekly payment above the State of Florida benefit for which the applicant is qualified. The max Florida weekly benefit is $275. The $600 additional payments are federally funded through July 31, 2020, unless extended.
Further, as never done before, the CARES Act extends unemployment aid to workers typically excluded:
‘Notably, the legislation provides income support to many workers who are typically shut out of their state UI systems, including self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers, part-time workers and those with insufficient work histories to qualify for state UI benefits.
Furloughed employees and anyone who can't report to work because the worksite has been ordered closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will be covered under the expansion.’(SHRM.org, Apr 3, 2020)
Stay safe to stay well out there. Your GPPCA is in this with you!