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Fix It Florida holds protest in Tallahassee

In this Wednesday, June 3, 2020 photo, cashier Rosario Vargas, center, bags groceries for customers at the Presidente Supermarket in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.  The U.S. government is set to issue its latest report on the layoffs that have left millions unemployed but have steadily slowed as many businesses have begun to reopen and to rehire some laid-off workers.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
In this Wednesday, June 3, 2020 photo, cashier Rosario Vargas, center, bags groceries for customers at the Presidente Supermarket in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The U.S. government is set to issue its latest report on the layoffs that have left millions unemployed but have steadily slowed as many businesses have begun to reopen and to rehire some laid-off workers. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 6:26 PM CDT
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Kathy Walker received four $600 checks from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment program managed by the state. Then after her May 19th, she says that changed.

“They just stopped," Walker said. "And we don’t even know where to go to see why that happened.”

We provided Kathy’s name and claimant number to the state on Tuesday. The Department of Economic Opportunity says it found two technology concerns it's working to fix. It tells us the only thing Kathy and others need to do is keep requesting benefits if they’re still unemployed.

At the Capitol, a handful of people protested the overall lack of available benefits. Fix It Florida Organizer Judy Tanzosch says she’s seen a lot of complaints about checks stopping.

“In the various groups on Facebook, a lot of people complaining in May their Federal payments just stopped," Tanzosch said.

Among the protesters, a prominent Tallahassee lawyer. Fred Harris and his family own a restaurant in nearby Quincy. When it closed, the family thought its employees wouldn’t have any trouble getting benefits.

“We pay unemployment premiums, so we felt like they would be taken care of, but a lot of our employees have been unable to access the unemployment benefits,” Harris said.

And for Walker, the news that DEO was aware of her situation wasn’t at all comforting.

“Right now, my state payments are $113 and part of me is…is it even worth the headache?” Walker said.

The state processed its 2,000,000th jobless claim on Sunday, disqualifying about one in three.

Anyone unemployed on March 29th can receive the additional $600 federal payment through the week of July 31st.

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