JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Many of unemployed Floridians woke up Monday morning to find their unemployment claims were listed as expired, or they are ineligible for benefits.
This follows federal unemployment benefits expiring last Saturday, before President Trump signed the COVID-19 relief bill the next day that extends federal benefits.
Tamara Oyarzabal was one of thousands who woke up to her claim listed as expired.
“I started to panic,” Oyarzabal said.
However, unemployment expert Vanessa Brito said Floridians should not panic if their claim is listed as expired.
“This literally got signed into law a couple of hours ago,” Brito said. “Extending federal benefits will take a few days to implement.”
Oyarzabal said Floridians should have been warned this could happen.
“The anxiety went up about 10 notches because we are navigating through uncharted waters with DEO,” Oyarzabal explained.
Other people, like Cintia Guardia, have been switched from their federal program to state benefits, for which they never qualified. As a result, their claim has been deemed ineligible.
“It doesn’t make sense why that would happen,” Brito said. “That is 100% a glitch.”
It took Guardia months to get her PUA claim working. Now, she is worried she will have to go through the same process.
“They can’t process things properly,” Guardia said. “It takes months to get done.”
Guardia also ran into a second glitch Monday.
“My balance is wiped out,” Guardia said.
Brito says many peoples’ benefit balance drained to zero.
Brito has made a form for people to fill out with their problems to send over to the Department of Economic Opportunity, so its IT department knows to give them special attention once the program is implemented.