Florida increases number of unemployment benefit payments but backlog remains

Department receives twice as many applications as it can handle per day

The state agency distributing unemployment benefits significantly increased the number of payments it has issued to jobless Floridians this week.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state agency distributing unemployment benefits significantly increased the number of payments it has issued to jobless Floridians this week.

But the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity still faces a large backlog of unemployment benefit claims that must still be processed and paid, records posted on the agency’s website show.

Figures provided by DEO suggest the agency is currently receiving nearly twice as many applications per day than it can handle.

On April 20, the agency received 16,132 unique claims for benefits and processed 8,341 claims.

On that same day, DEO issued payments to 54,716 claimants, a significant increase from the previous day's tally.

Over the five week period between March 15 and April 19, the agency had issued payments to 40,193 Floridians.

Since mid-March, DEO has processed about 26% of the 668,323 claims it has received and issued payments to 14% of those claimants, records show.

The state has paid out more than $125.5 million in unemployment benefits since March 15, records show. About $79 million of that was provided by Congress under the federal CARES Act.


About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.