Soto Wants Answers from Gov. DeSantis on Unemployment Benefits

April 20, 2020
Press Release

For weeks, Floridians have attempted to gain access to the state’s purposefully designed faulty unemployment system. While technology glitches have been a cause of frustration, those who have successfully submitted claims are left wondering when their benefits will kick in. This week Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) led a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis asking for a transparent and feasible timeline regarding the issuance of the unemployment assistance benefits to the over 500,000 Floridians who were able to successfully access and complete their unemployment claim since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“At this point, it is incumbent upon you to establish a clear and transparent timeline for when Floridians can anticipate receiving the unemployment insurance dollars they earned,” wrote Rep. Soto.  “A clear timeline is necessary to reassure all Floridians that help is on the way and we ask that you answer the following questions:  Have you requested the funding from DOL to ensure Floridians will continue to receive PUA? When do you anticipate completing the processing of backlogged claims? Do you agree to provide daily statewide updates of the number of claims resolved and payments made? When do you anticipate a fully integrated statewide system for individuals to claim state and/or federal benefits, and receive these payments electronically?”

The recently passed CARES Act established the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that expands unemployment benefits for freelancers, gig economy workers, independent contractors and others who were previously not eligible. All states are eligible to draw down funding from the Department of Treasury to pay for unemployment assistance. 

The letter was signed by Reps. Alcee L. Hastings, Kathy Castor, Lois Frankel, Debbie Mucarsel Powell, Donna E. Shalala, Debbie Wasserman Schutlz and Frederica S. Wilson. 

 The full text of the letter can be found here.