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Governor hopes to get unemployment checks out ‘as quickly as possible’

More than 225,000 Floridians have filed for unemployment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes to get unemployment checks out as quickly as possible for the now 225,775 people who have filed for unemployment in the state.

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PAPER APPLICATION FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IN FLORIDA]

“My focus is lets get the checks out,” DeSantis said. “Start giving it, do the verification, and let’s get moving on it. I’m hoping they can do it as quickly as possible.”

The Governor said the state now has 2,000 employees processing the unemployment claims coming in through what many have called a flawed system.

This week, Governor said 12,000 paper applications were mailed in.

[RELATED: Florida releases new mobile-friendly site to apply for unemployment benefits]

The state launched a new mobile-friendly site, this seems to be working, according to the Governor.

"That site is able to take a much higher volume of people coming to the site," he said.

However, that mobile-site is just for first-time filers.

For mom Stacy Harmon, she has to continue her process through the original 2013 DEO Connect site. She was able to file easily being furloughed mid-March. However, as more people signed on, she wasn't able to continue on. Her claim says active, but more than three weeks later, she has not seen a single penny.

"Nothing," Harmon said. "That's my biggest question, what can I do to speed the process so I can get the funds to take care of my family."

Harmon stressed to tears. The family moving into a new Lake County just in February, unknowing unemployment was looming.

"We had no idea," Harmon said. "Everything was just falling into place completely and all of a sudden your world gets turn upside down."

Now, her husband who is an Orange County Firefighter on the front lines of this virus is volunteering for as many overtime shifts as he can to help with the financial loss at home.

"That is the most difficult part for me. It's that I have a spouse who is out there and that should be what I'm worried about and that should be what our focus is," Harmon added.

[RELATED: Filing for unemployment? 6 things experts say you should know]

According to Nilda Blanco, the Director of Business Intelligence with CareerSource Central Florida, before COVID-19 hit and when unemployment was below 3%, it took about two weeks for a person to see their first unemployment check after they filed.

“It would have been about two weeks that you would have waited and you have seen something,” Blanco said.

However, now that claims have skyrocketed, it is taking longer. In fact, News 6 has asked the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity how long it will take for those checks to go out, with no response.

The Governor again asking his staff to do it as quickly as possible, though with no exact promise of when.


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