Many facing headaches while filing for unemployment

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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Filing for unemployment is known as Reemployment Assistance in the state of Florida. It's something countless Floridians are having to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the process can be filled with long wait times and tedious exercises that have many hitting an unemployment wall.

Local resident Misty Byrd is recently unemployed. She said, “I think one day I spent like a total of eight hours on it, just you know I was determined to get it done. It didn’t work.”

Like many, Byrd recently tried to file for unemployment.

“It crashed. Like I was almost done with it so many times and then the whole website just went down. It went back to the very beginning. It wasn’t saving none of the information,” said Byrd.

It’s a common story Maria Goodwin with CareerSource Gulf Coast hears every day. Although CareerSource is a career center and not an unemployment agency, they do try to assist job seekers.

“The system is experiencing technical difficulties where it really just kicks them out of the system,” said Goodwin.

Some useful advice when it feels like you’re hitting a wall is to apply online during non-peak hours when most people are not using the website, and if you want to avoid technical difficulties all together- use a paper form.

Goodwin said, “the paper application is available on our website. You can download it and right in your information and mail it in to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.”

CareerSource is also offering paper applications outside the facility, but Goodwin said they could take longer to process.

Meanwhile, Byrd said, “the bills are still there, you know they’re still going to be there. So the quicker that we can get these unemployment checks in, the quicker we can start getting caught back up again.”

Governor Ron DeSantis has said fixing the website that some consider a broken system is his number one priority.

To access the paper version of the Reemployment Assistance application, visit the attached link.

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