DEO to remove online option to backdate unemployment claims; must call to request change

Reporter: Sara Girard Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is removing the online option to backdate your unemployment claim if you have had issues filing.

Backdating claims have been a big topic among people filing for unemployment — especially because website issues early on made it so hundreds if not thousands of people submitted claims days or weeks after their first attempts.

As of Wednesday, there is still a form up on the Florida jobs website that you can fill out to ask to change your claim date for state Reemployment Assistance.

DEO told us requesting this form should take about two weeks to process the request, but we heard from claimants who say it takes longer.

The backdate request form is only for people who had trouble filing for state benefits between March 9 and April 9.

Starting July 6, the only option will be to call DEO to make the request.

The number is the same one a claimant can call for any other frequently asked questions or concerns. DEO says starting on July 6 you must call 1-833-352-7759 (FL-APPLY) and select option 5 to request a backdate. The phone option will not be active until then.

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, DEO says those will automatically become retroactive in CONNECT.

Statement from DEO

“DEO recognized that Floridians had a hard time applying for Reemployment Assistance due to no fault of their own between March 9 and April 9, 2020. On May 1, the Department made a webform available so that claimants could request to modify their claim filing effective date. As stated on the website, if a claimant attempted to apply and was not able to file a claim between the weeks of March 9, 2020 to April 9, 2020, they could submit a request to adjust their claim date to the date they originally tried to apply. The Modify Your Claim Filing Effective Date website was intended to serve claimants filing for state Reemployment Assistance to adjust their claim filing effective date during these dates. The website will be available until Sunday, July 5 and if a claimant needs to adjust the date of their claim after July 5, they should call the Customer Service Center and select option 5.”

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.

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