Amid coronavirus pandemic, Florida woman with Lupus loses job and medical benefits in one day

Christine Rama’s journey from furloughed to jobless has left the single mother in a race against time because 8-weeks after she first filed for Florida unemployment benefits on March 27, her application is still listed as pending on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website and her health benefits have expired.

“it’s just a failed system,” Rama said. “It’s a complete cluster. It’s like a nightmare.”

Rama received an email from her employer last week advising her that both her employment and medical benefits would be terminated effective May 31.

Her 10-year old son Caiden has Asthma and she is struggling with Lupus a condition that recently flared up, she said.

Prior to being terminated, Rama had just started a new medication for her conditions which requires an IV infusion, she said in an email.

“It requires three loading doses every 2 weeks and then monthly infusions for maintenance,” she wrote. "Unfortunately, with my insurance ending I will not be able to continue my treatments until I find new insurance. God willing everything will work out as I continue to search for new employment.”

Rama said she has been struggling to get her information into the Florida DEO website CONNECT for months.

“This is like a full time job,” she said. “I originally submitted my first application on April 1 on the connect site. It wasn’t until April 27 that my status changed to ineligible.”

The frustration exploded on May 15 when a DEO representative told her she had “no active application in their system.”

Rama has since uploaded her W2’s for 2018 and 2019 in hopes that this will expedite the benefits process.

News 6 contacted state Rep. Amy Mercado Monday to ask her for help in tracking down the glitch in Christine’s case.

Mercado replied and asked the station to have her contact her office.

“We would like to assist her with the DEO,” she wrote.

If you have an unemployment issue or you would like to help Christine and Caiden just send an email with your phone number to makeendsmeet@wkmg.com.

To find your Florida state representative use this link: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

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