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Florida DEO changes payment schedule, leaving many in the dark as to when they'll be paid

The change may have created a glitch in the system, messing with Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments.

Some Floridians believe they have stopped receiving unemployment benefits and are left in the dark as to why.  

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity told First Coast News the department switched to biweekly payments and claimants should be getting the money they’re owed still, just in different increments. Many claimants said they had no knowledge of this. The DEO did not answer FCN if this was announced by email, mail or on any platform.

“It just demonstrates that the state of Florida is playing with people’s lives by not giving them their benefits but also not giving them certainty to at least know benefits are coming,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani.

Eskamani noticed her constituents stop receiving weekly benefits around Memorial Day.

“First it started as a rumor online and then I asked our DEO contact,” she said. “And he said ‘yes, we are going to biweekly,’ but I don’t think there was actually a public announcement.”

Claimants missing payments had to take a deep breath and put bills off to the next week. But that next week, even more problems arose.

“Now we have the problem of thousands of Floridians missing their FPUC (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) payments,” Eskamani said.

FPUC pays an additional $600 of benefits each week in addition to other unemployment insurance. Eskamani believes these missing funds correlate to switching to biweekly payments.

She asked her followers on Facebook to fill out a Google Doc she made if they were missing FPUC payments. She received 8,500 responses in 9 hours.

DEO said the department has identified two technological concerns that halted FPUC payments.

DEO's response to FCN:

  •  Individuals who requested that their claims be backdated were not included in recent payment files for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments.  We are working diligently to ensure these claimants are made whole as quickly as possible.  At this time, claimants do not need to do anything but should continue to request benefits as long as they are unemployed or partially unemployed.  The department anticipates having the issue resolved quickly and being able to provide these payments to eligible claimants.
  • Additionally, the department has identified that some claimants were not paid their Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment for their waiting week. The department has identified these individuals and should have them paid their $600 federal payment within 5 business days.

“So what we are seeing is issues compounded on top of issues, compounded on top of issues and folks will be homeless if DEO doesn’t get this right,” Eskamani said.

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