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Top three unemployment system issues plaguing jobless in SWFL, explained

Nearly a year into the pandemic, issues continue to plague jobless people across the state.

Despite doing exactly what the Department of Economic Opportunity recommends, people like Janna Glassberg are hitting roadblocks. A performer, she’s been unemployed since last March.

“Right from the beginning, it was bad,” Glassberg said. “The computers, the system, the glitches, the getting kicked out, not getting get being able to get in. It could take you eight hours to get logged on, and then you get kicked out, or being kicked back and forth, trying to get through the application.”

Now she and many others are facing new problems with the system.

WINK News enlisted the help of an expert to breakdown the most common issues you’re facing right now, and the ways around them.

1) CAN’T GET YOUR 1099-G

Glassberg says she’s tried everything to get access to her 1099-G form, which is necessary for unemployed people to file their taxes.

LINKS: How to Access Your 1099 Forms According to the DEO | DEO’s 1099-G Frequently Asked Questions

“Electronically is a no-go for me because one, I can’t open anything on their site. And I don’t have a computer printer at home,” Glassberg said. “So I asked for mail, never received anything by mail.”

And Glassberg is not alone. Miami-based unemployment activist Vanessa Brito says she’s heard from thousands of people having trouble with this.

But she says she’s found workarounds.

If it’s giving you an error, showing up blank, or if you don’t have a link on your account menu labeled “My 1099-g & 49ts” Brito says first you have to make sure your claim is authenticated.

“You can call, ask for a claim-specific [representative] and authenticate your claim,” Brito said. “And then immediately you can be on the phone with them and your links will populate.”

Then to access and download, make sure pop-up blockers are turned off or use a private browser.

If that doesn’t work, call or go to your local CareerSource.

“In five minutes, they print it out for you,” Brito said. “It can print it out for you right there and then give it to you.”

CAREER SOURCE LOCATIONS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA:

Fort Myers (Full-Service)
6800 Shoppes at Plantation Drive, Suite 170
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Phone: 239-931-8200

Naples (Full-Service)
3050 Horseshoe Drive North, Building A, Suite 110
(Entrance is on the corner of Collier Way W)
Naples, FL 34104
Phone: 239-436-4301

Immokalee (Full-Service)
750 South 5th Street
Immokalee, FL 34142
Phone: 239-658-3300

Clewiston (Full-Service)
215-B South Francisco Street
Clewiston, FL 33440
Phone: 863-983-6138

LaBelle (Satellite)
921 Anvil Circle
LaBelle, FL 33935
Phone: 863-675-1412

Port Charlotte (Full-Service)
3745 Tamiami Trail
(Intersection of Conway Blvd and US 41)
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Phone: 941-235-5900

CareerSource Southwest Florida Business Services
6800 Shoppes at Plantation Drive, Suite 170
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Phone: 239-931-8282

2) PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA) FACT-FINDING

If you’re on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), DEO might have told you to provide new documents to prove your prior employment.

Many of you have reached out to WINK News and Brito to say the steps aren’t clear and the “Fact-Finding” link to submit it can be finicky.

When you do submit the documents – remember to upload, then hit “Add” and “Save” before hitting submit.

To be sure, Brito says you should call DEO, ask for a claim-specific representative, and ask them to make sure your documents went through.

“If somebody did not submit proper documentation or just didn’t process properly, they can ask for a supervisor, because they’re the only ones that can reopen the link,” Brito said. “And I recommend not waiting till the last minute, and calling until you get — and you can transfer supervisor several times — until you get to someone who can open that link for you.”

For many claimants, the deadline to submit these documents is March 1.

MORE: DEO’s Proof of Employment Documentation Fact-Sheet

3) FEDERAL PROGRAMS NOT YET EXTENDED

Some of you say your claim still hasn’t been extended since the federal programs were renewed in December, almost two months ago.

Brito says you can submit your information to this form so she can get your claim escalated to do.

“If you’re in a pending status, or ineligible status, because the extension hasn’t taken place on your account, don’t call,” Brito said, “Get your name on one of our lists and make sure that you’re in the queue because they are going one by one for those fixes.”

You can also submit your name, claimant ID, contact information, and a brief 1-2 sentence summary of your issues or questions to [email protected] Do not under any circumstances share any personally identifying information like pins, social security numbers or addresses.

NEW CHAT FEATURE

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the department that handles unemployment claims, launched an online “Chat with Us” feature on Tuesday to help claimants get answers.

The site previously featured a chat option, but it was automated to answer only general questions.

This time, claimants can now chat with a live Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Representative for help with their claim.

The DEO has shifted the priority of 200 agents to assist via the new online chat feature.

Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Centers are available Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. for all account inquiries and questions.

How to find it:

  1. Go to floridajobs.org
  2. Click Reemployment Assistance Service Center in the banner at the top
  3. Click Claimants
  4. Click the green CHAT WITH US icon to the right

Direct link: floridajobs.org

MOREFAQ: Unemployment Resources 

DEO website Chat With Us feature
Reporter:Sara Girard
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