Governor insists eligible unemployed people getting paid, others have application issues

Reporter: Sara Girard Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis Credit: via WINK News.

Florida reached $2 billion in unemployment claims paid over the weekend. But, still, we keep hearing from a lot of you that you still haven’t been paid or were wrongfully denied.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is firing back at anyone saying they aren’t getting what they are entitled to. He said that some people may have left out key information such as their social security number, which delays payments.

DeSantis also says the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is getting applicants from out of state and out of the country, and each one needs vetting.

But we continue to hear from claimants that the entire process has been extremely confusing, and people just want to know what they need to do to get paid.

Monday, the governor got aggressive.

“Did you vet any of them?” DeSantis asked.

He challenged reporters on whether we know if people complaining about the state’s unemployment system actually completed their applications correctly.

“You are not even investigating whether they’re valid claims,” DeSantis said. “You’re just asserting that people have applied.”

DeSantis has been showing less patience with the repeated questions about unemployment. Last Friday, he asked reporters, “Who’s been waiting?”

So WINK News sent his office and the DEO applicants’ names and their concerns. The DEO wrote back saying they, “Have a dedicated team working to check on each” of them.

Monday, the governor offered an example as one valid reason for why certain people are not getting paid.

“We took the name and went, and it turns out the employer is contesting it, saying that the individual quit,” DeSantis said.

Meanwhile, the governor says the people are getting the benefits they deserve.

“More than $2 billion has now been paid out,” DeSantis said. “And, of all the unique, complete and eligible applicants, 97% have now been paid.”

The newest numbers from the DEO say that number is closer to 91%. And that doesn’t mean people are getting paid in full. Many are writing to us saying they’re missing multiple weeks of payments and don’t know why.

The governor says on Tuesday he will be laying out all the numbers for who has been paid and the “common pitfalls” for people waiting or ineligible.

If you still haven’t received your unemployment benefits, WINK News created a short form you can fill out. We will take your names and information straight to the governor and DEO for answers.

For ongoing updates and information on unemployment, follow WINK News Investigative Reporter Sara Girard on Twitter and Facebook.

She also updates the WINK News FAQ: Unemployment Resources page as information is received.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.