New reports suggest that only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of unemployment payouts are being handed out in Florida, USA. The state said on Tuesday, April 21, that among more than 668,000 unique claims filed since March 15 only 14.2 percent were being paid. The new website launched to track the unemployment funds also provides the same data.
Since March 15 Florida has paid $125.6 million, which includes the weekly payouts to the unemployed through the Congress expansion of the unemployment program. Florida's maximum benefit is $275 per week. The people in Florida had filed for 1.6 million claims since mid-March but several were duplicates and triplicates. According to the state agency verifying the application processed only 170,380, or 25.5% of the unique claims.
Several studies are reflecting the growing unemployment crisis in the Treasure Coast in the US. According to an analysis conducted by Associated Press, Florida was seen to be ranking at the near bottom among states in the speed of processing its claims.
In comparison to other states
The people in Florida have been struggling to file their unemployment claims as the agency site keeps crashing and call-centres are overloaded. Compared to Florida, California and Texas have back-logged claims while New York has 30 percent of the claims pending. People are offered alternative services to file for their claims through paper filing in Florida. People would be provided with paper forms that can be downloaded and mailed or submitted in the centre.
The lawmakers have demanded improvements in the system. A Democrat representing the northern Orlando suburbs did a survey online which analysed the people's response to the filings. The response came from people who can't file the application either online or through the phone. The survey received several responses from people who are not able to file for their claims.
According to Susan Houseman, the director of research for the Michigan-based Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, said that the reason behind the difficulty in processing the claims is because the state isn't prepared for such a situation and had never "intended to process so many," Associated Press reported.
Data suggests that before the outbreak Florida had one of the most vigorous labor markets in the country with an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent.