TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — 8 On Your Side is starting to see results after sending the names of more than 4,000 unemployed Floridians to Tallahassee earlier this week.
The people on the list say they’ve been waiting at least a month for help from the state.
Some, like Suzanne Taylor of Sarasota, said it only took a couple days after that for their claim to finally be approved.
“Oh, the stress level,” Taylor recalled. “The bills kept coming in.”
Taylor’s claim lay pending ever since she filed on the state’s mobile site in early April. For more than a month she tried by failed to get any answers from the Department of Economic Opportunity as to why.
She added her name to a list 8 On Your Side investigative reporter Victoria Price compiled and sent to the governor’s office and the DEO earlier this week.
We created that list after Governor Ron DeSantis disputed the claim that thousands of eligible applicants were still waiting to be paid.
“Who’s been waiting?” he asked during a Friday press conference in Jacksonville. “I want to see the names.”
After weeks in the dark, Taylor said it only took a couple days for the DEO to reach out, reset her PIN, and approve her claim.
She’s not alone.
We’ve received several other messages from people who said they finally got some response from the DEO…or better yet, had their claim processed and approved.
Feeling failed by the unemployment system? 8 On Your Side is putting together a list of names of people waiting for their benefits to send to Gov. DeSantis and the DEO.
If you have been waiting for 30 days or more on unemployment benefits, please fill out this Google form. 8 On Your Side’s Victoria Price will be delivering it to the governor.
Overall, the state’s struggling unemployment system is making progress but there’s still a long way to go. More than 200,000 claims wait to be processed.
Many of the recipients who have been approved say they’ve only received partial payments.
When asked what was wrong with her application that created the delay, Taylor said “nothing,” and that DEO did not offer an explanation.
She’s just thankful relief is on the way.
8 On Your Side will be submitting another list of applicants to Tallahassee. If you’ve been waiting more than a month for benefits without explanation from the DEO, fill out the form here.
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