Press Releases

Florida Congressional, State Legislature Members Send Letter Urging Gov. DeSantis to Fix Florida’s Broken Unemployment Benefits Program

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Washington, April 7, 2020 | comments

West Palm Beach, FL – Today, members of Florida’s congressional delegation and members of the state legislature sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis with recommendations on how to improve the Florida unemployment system.

The letter states in part, “As you are aware, unemployment in Florida is skyrocketing, through no fault of workers who are being laid off and told to stay home. Last week over 237,000 Floridians applied for unemployment insurance benefits, with thousands more unable to use the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO’s) broken website. Sadly, these figures will continue to multiply in the coming weeks.”

“Many families across the state are facing devastating financial distress because of loss of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor DeSantis must take immediate action to boost benefits and fix the claims process,” said Rep. Frankel.

The letters urges Governor DeSantis to do following:

1. Extend the length of Florida’s unemployment benefits from 12 weeks to 26 weeks;

2. Significantly increase the maximum benefit from $275 per week to be comparable to states with similar costs of living;

3. Utilize available federal funding under the CARES Act that provides thirteen additional weeks of state benefits; and

4. Make benefits payments retroactive to when an individual became unemployed;

5. Take all necessary action to make the claims process quick and efficient.

The letter was signed by Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-5), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Darren Soto (FL-9), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24). It was also signed by fourteen members of the Florida state legislature. For the full letter, click here.

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