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Some feeling hopeless after successfully filing for unemployment

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 5:19 PM CDT
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Almost two million people have filed for unemployment benefits in Florida since March 15. Veronica Tierney is one of them.

“My status just went from active, then back to pending, then it went to ineligible a month later,” said Tierney.

Like countless Floridians, after spending days applying for unemployment she was denied.

“Which obviously I don’t see how that’s the case because I was working, you know I was working prior to this,” she said.

While her application now sits in limbo, her bills keep piling up.

Tierney laughed, “Like, I cut my cable off. We don’t need no cable, that’s not a necessity right now. We’re watching DVDs, like, no.”

It’s a story Maria Goodwin with CareerSource Gulf Coast hears every day.

Goodwin said, “We’re definitely seeing and getting a lot of calls on people trying to understand the determination that was made.” She said while she’s seen an increase in those who’ve been able to complete their claims, there are still many who are waiting to hear their status or don’t understand why they were denied.

“It could be something as a work registration which means people need to go onto employflorida.com and enter their information, and then we’ve seen other people where it may have been that they answered a question incorrectly,” said Goodwin.

As for Tierney, she feels the system has failed her. “I worked for unemployment, right? Isn’t that why people work? So that when you stop working, the government has your back," she said.

Tierney said she’s applying for remote jobs so that she can work from home because her mother and daughter have underlying medical conditions and she’s afraid of a possible exposure to COVID-19.

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