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DeSantis Wants To Make Path To Getting Unemployment Benefits Easier

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a committee meeting
Andrew Harnik

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to look into removing some of the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits as layoffs pile up in response to concerns about the coronavirus.

For example, right now, DeSantis says a person has to prove they’re looking for another job.

You know, we want people to be able to work rather than be on this. In this case it’s such a dislocation, that I think I can probably waive some of that but we’re going to be looking into getting people cash in their hands who’ve been dislocated from this,” DeSantis says.

People across the state are losing their jobs as tourism shrinks and bars, restaurants, and other business close. Data from the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows Florida hotels, and businesses that support the hotel industry, have already cut about 400,000 jobs.

A note on the Department of Economic Opportunity’s website says the agency is expiring high wait-times for calls about the Reemployment Assistance Program. Meanwhile, state Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson sent out a statement earlier this week urging Floridians begin filing for unemployment assistance.

"It's important that those who have lost their jobs, either through layoffs, or government mandates, begin the process of applying through the state for the unemployment benefits they've earned," Gibson says.

Gibson says the current application process can be confusing. She's calling on the governor and the Department of Economic Opportunity to streamline the website "so that anyone financially impacted by the coronavirus emergency can quickly find the information related to this disaster, and more easily compete the application process."

The application link can be found at https://connect.myflorida.com/claimant/core/login.aspx

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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