The fight for unemployment benefits is not over for many people in Florida, but NBC 6 Responds is hearing from some who say progress has been made on their claims.
James Lofton reached out to NBC 6 Responds two weeks ago. At the time, his unemployment claim status was “Not Registered” and his claim was stuck in the employment verification process.
“I was unregistered, so I didn’t really didn’t exist to them and two days later, bam, I am active, so thank you,” Lofton said.
Despite the progress, Lofton has yet to receive any benefits. It's something he hopes will change soon.
“Rent is coming up again as you know, the worst part was not being able to fill out the app,” Lofton said.
The latest numbers from the Department of Economic Opportunity show 119,725 claims are in the verification queues. So far, 739,444 claims have been deemed ineligible for state reemployment assistance and of those less than 40 percent have qualified for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked about those who are still waiting for payment.
“One of the issues was just the sheer volume and how you do that and it was not easy and I think they worked really hard on it," DeSantis said.
He acknowledged his office is receiving lists with the names of people who are still waiting for help.
“When different media folks have said ‘Hey I have ten names of people that have complained to us’ we’ve taken the names and and given it to the agency,” DeSantis said.
Marta De Torres is one of the hundreds of people we notified the DEO about. When she called NBC 6 Responds her claim was dormant for months.
"To my surprise it came out and said that I was active and eligible and thank God after so much perseverance,” De Torres said.
On Tuesday she got the benefits she’s been waiting on.
“It was a scary situation but thankful that it all worked out okay after a long time of waiting,” De Torres said.