Unemployment call taker warns of longer wait times after state ends contracts

The Department of Economic Opportunity has canceled contracts with two companies that were hired to pick up calls about unemployment claims of Floridians. A woman who still works for one of those companies told us she thinks wait times are going to get worse. DEO spokesperson Paige Landrum told us those companies are AECOM and […]

Unemployment claimants get wrong message for PEUC benefits, DEO working to remove it

An apparent glitch in the system and inconsistent information is causing confusion over unemployment. We looked at what to do Thursday if your benefits have exhausted or they’re about to. Soon, claimants should get a link on CONNECT for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the federal program that extends your benefits for 13 more weeks. […]

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

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 […]

SWFL jobless rate declines as more return to work; statewide unemployment increases

Southwest Florida unemployment rates are going down, while the state’s number is going up as of May 2020. Lee: 14% Charlotte:13.5% Collier: 13.1% Hendry: 11.5% Glades: 7.9% DeSoto: 7.1% Friday, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Southwest Florida is doing better in other areas of the […]

New virtual unemployment ‘waiting room’ frustrates claimants

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says it has a new feature to help you during your unemployment process, but people using the systems are only describing more frustration. We’ve been getting mixed reviews on what you think of the new virtual waiting room. Some of you say it’s smoother once you actually log on. Others […]

Governor says he’ll check issues with unemployment hotline

We continue to report on updates about Florida’s unemployment system during the coronavirus pandemic as new information from the state becomes available. And we are continuing to ask the governor your questions. We pressed the governor again Monday about issues with the unemployment website. Over the weekend, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website, CONNECT, […]

Many in SWFL wait for benefits, while governor says unemployment improving

The state’s unemployment website continues to leave many people in the region and throughout the state frustrated and without any payments. Florida says it has paid over 425,000 claims, which is about 45% of all claims. We continue to look at what’s being done to get people their money. A Tallahassee judge recently received 1,081 […]

Florida updates unemployment system to process self-employed claims

Robert Kantor of Punta Gorda is a ride-share driver who’s been trying to apply for unemployment since March 16. “I cannot drive because I’m at high risk for coronavirus,” Kantor said. Friday, Kantor’s status finally changed from “completed” to “submitted.” As a gig worker, he’s supposed to be eligible for federal benefits. But he’s starting […]