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Congresswoman Wilson Urges DeSantis to Fix Florida’s Unemployment System

Congresswoman Wilson Urges DeSantis to Fix Florida's Unemployment System
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Wilson has sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis, calling on him to make much-needed improvements to Florida’s unemployment system, increase the weekly $275 benefit, and extend benefits to self-employed and gig workers.

The letter is in response to desperate pleas from District 24 constituents who have repeatedly experienced technical difficulties when applying for benefits, have not received payment after successfully applying, or are prohibited from applying for benefits despite the provision in the CARES ACT for self-employed and gig workers.

“Many others with similar stories have contacted me and I share their fear about their ability to survive and recover from the economic impact caused by this virus. Unfortunately, I am limited in my ability to help constituents access state unemployment benefits. It is quite frustrating because ultimately, your office is the only entity that can fix this issue,” the letter reads.

“Congress accomplished the monumental task of passing emergency funding for governors to allocate additional benefits to help the millions of people who are living the same nightmare as my constituents. Although I appreciate recent steps your office has taken to address these issues, more needs to be done to change the frustrating experiences my constituents are sharing to ones of hope and prosperity.”

Rep. Wilson specifically asked the governor to:

  • hire more representatives to help applicants navigate the unemployment website;
  • overhaul the website so applicants can efficiently navigate the system without technical difficulties;
  • increase the weekly state benefit from the current $275;
  • implement clear guidelines for applicants to access the expanded unemployment benefits provided under the CARES Act;
  • allow self-employed and gig workers access to state unemployment benefits; and
  • retroactively provide benefits from the date applicants lost their employment.

“Florida employers are required to pay into the state’s unemployment compensation program so that when workers can receive benefits when they lose their jobs. While I completely understand that that the system is overburdened by an overwhelming number of claims during this turbulent time, applying for and receiving benefits cannot be a fight for hard-working people who are already dealing with so much uncertainty,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “It also is imperative that Governor DeSantis increase the weekly benefit to include the additional $600 provided for in the CARES Act. No family or individual can survive on $275 per week.”

To read the full letter, click here


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