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Work search required for unemployed Floridians next week, unless governor extends exception

Governor Ron DeSantis’ order to waive the work search requirement for unemployed Floridians expires April 24.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to waive the work search requirement for unemployed Floridians expires April 24, and unless he decides to extend it again, people will love their benefits if they do not complete work searches before claiming weeks.

The work search requirement ensures claimants apply to at least five different jobs every week before claiming benefits.

Claimants are recommended to search for jobs on a website called Employ Florida, which connects with the Department for Economic Opportunity.

“The issue comes into play when Employ Florida needs to cross-match the info into CONNECT,” said unemployment expert Vanessa Brito.

Brito is worried because in the past, the CONNECT system has had many glitches associated with cross-matching.

“We’ve already seen it, people are trying to be proactive,” Brito said.

If you go into CONNECT and click “workforce registration information,” DEO provides a how-to guide. The problem is, the guide doesn’t match with the actual Employ Florida website.

“That guide that was just updated this week has steps that claimants aren’t seeing on the employ Florida website,” Brito said.

When asked about the guide that was provided to claimants, DEO said it’s an old document that hasn’t been updated since Employ Florida updated its website. But, claimants haven’t been told that.

“I looked at it and thought, that doesn’t even look like the same website,” said Amanda Cash, who lost her job as a travel agent. “The information doesn’t correlate.”

Cash said an outdated guide shows DEO isn’t ready for the change.

She is worried the work search will create even more glitches within her claim, which has been keeping her afloat as she waits for her business to pick back up.

“Trying to get through the pandemic and not give up, it’s just really hard,” Cash said.