Frustrations continue to mount for people searching for answers on whether to reapply or file an appeal after being denied unemployment benefits.
On Wednesday the Department of Economic Opportunity reported close to 40% of applicants were deemed ineligible for state unemployment benefits.
A spokesperson with the DEO stating in an email to NBC 6 Responds, “Many individuals who were denied are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). To be eligible for PUA, you must first be denied Reemployment Assistance at the state level.”
According to the DEO, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides up to $275 in weekly benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for Reemployment Assistance, in addition to the FPUC funding. This includes individuals who are self-employed or contract employees.
The agency released the following guidelines for those who were deemed ineligible for benefits but may qualify for PUA:
“Individuals who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or after April 5, 2020, and were deemed ineligible for state reemployment assistance benefits will receive additional application information from the Department. They can also visit www.floridajobs.org/cares-act for more information regarding these programs. Please advise these Floridians to monitor their accounts and email for additional information from the Department.
If an individual filed a claim in the first quarter of the year (prior to April 5), because of state law (Section 443.03610) they will need to file a new state Reemployment Assistance application for the second quarter of the year. They should go to FloridaJobs.org and select 'File a Claim' and this will assist them.”
But for some people, reapplying is not proving to be easy.
“It’s so confusing, it’s like we are not getting information, on what to do,” Ron Gross said.
Gross says he is running into the same issues he did the first time he tried to apply - error messages and technical glitches.
“That same site that says I am ineligible, and when I try to hit the reapply button and I hit that, it goes off that the website is down,” Gross said.
The DEO announced a new online chat option. On the DEO’s Twitter page they said the chat feature is where people “can reach an agent directly.”
But when Gross tried using the tool, he says he was only given automated responses that did not help resolve his issue.
“The right thing to do is to tell people how to apply to get the benefits that they say we are guaranteed to get, there is no excuse any longer,” Gross said.