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Some declared ineligible for unemployment without explanation

The state of Florida says 387,000 people have received unemployment benefits since March 15, and more people can expect money soon.

The unemployment website went down over the weekend to help the state process more payments, but some people are learning their claims are ineligible.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that more money is coming, but those who got an “ineligible” message are losing hope, especially when they weren’t given any reasons as to why they were deemed ineligible for benefits.

“I’m frustrated, annoyed, scared,” said Roxy Goettsch.

“I clicked on everything I could and there’s no reason,” said Jay Campbell.

“What could’ve possibly deemed me as un-eligible, you know, I meet like all of the requirements,” said Katie Schiller.

They each said where the determination is supposed to be explained, the website just lists “Determination not available.”

And they can’t get any answers.

“I’ve actually called 66 times today,” Goettsch said.

DeSantis said Monday that the state is finally able to process claims faster than ever, but not everyone is eligible.

“Some people are applying that haven’t been working for a period of time,” DeSantis said. “So there are other forms of relief given the situation that we see people in, but some of those numbers are inflated in terms of the folks were actually qualified for unemployment.”

After WINK News aired this story Monday, Paige Landrum from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity explained via email why some people may have been deemed ineligible:

This weekend, we made significant progress in processing claims so that individuals across the state could get paid their Reemployment Assistance benefits. Last week, the department paid almost $412 million to Floridians, which is an increase of almost 600% over the week.

During this process, many individuals were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits. There are numerous reasons someone could be deemed not eligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits, including wage base period issues, lack of wage history, among others. You can review the Reemployment Assistance Handbook here, which has examples of why individuals could be deemed ineligible. Each person deemed not eligible for state Reemployment Assistance receives a notification regarding their eligibility.

Many of the individuals that were deemed ineligible this weekend could be eligible for federal benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The agency is working diligently to get more detailed information to individuals who may be eligible for federal benefits. This week, individuals will be able to log-in to CONNECT and complete the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program after they were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits.

 


 

It’s not just people who have lost their jobs who are getting frustrated. One employer said she can’t access the DEO website to help her former employee.

Diana Mayette said that, since March 25, she has been trying to verify that her employee worked for her small IT consulting business so he can get his benefits.

“When the employee goes online to see where his application is, he’s getting a notice saying that the employer hasn’t answered the notification,” Mayette said.

She said the website won’t let her reset her password, and she can’t reach anyone over the phone.

 


 

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

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

Reporter:Sara Girard
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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