Wednesday, May 20

A Month Later, Still No Federal Unemployment in Florida

florida unemployment broken a month later
I quit a job as a teacher just before Covid-19 hit because I figured I couldn't stay safe in the classroom with my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis (and all the meds I was taking to suppress my immune system). Of course, that was two weeks before schools closed for the year. Oh well, not a big deal, right? Even if I don't technically qualify for Florida's rinky-dink unemployment, at least I'd be getting the $600 from the federal government to help cover the Lyft and Uber rides I was not taking to avoid getting and spreading the virus. After trying hundreds of times, I sent my unemployment form in the mail. A month later, I got an email telling me to log into the same broken-down Connect system in order to submit myself to more torture, since it's still broken-down as of May 20th.

I don't really know what the state still needs, but I think it probably wants some more information in order to deny me the state money so that I can be pushed into the pool of people eligible for the $600 a week, but I don't really know for sure. Florida's unemployment system is so bad that, if we weren't a state rooted in scams and cronies, a lot of people would lose their jobs as governors, senators, and contractors. Instead, DeSantis claimed victory over the whole thing, Scott says he did a great job making it, DeLoitte says it did a wonderful job building the website, and all these guys are hoping all of us who are / were unemployed just go away. I even have a friend who got a job at DeLoitte in the another state, and he told me that it felt almost criminal how much money he was making for what he was doing, and I think he probably hit the nail on the head. 

florida unemployment instructions to finish
Anyhow, I mailed the unemployment document about a month before I got the email telling me to finish the process. I felt like I had finished the process, and the website does not have a way to tell me specifically what I was missing, but I know more information is asked for on the website. It also makes you start over completely, only to get near the end and have the website crap out, just like a month ago. And it forces you to say you haven't been working, even if you did take some jobs in order to feed your family while you waited for the system to start working. The sad part is that the federal money IS good enough that most of us will waste hours and hours trying to get our hands on it. I mean, it's not DeLoitte Consulting money, but it's better than Florida UI money. 

I know I am not alone. Some Floridians were re-hired immediately and are now collecting unemployment even while they work. Some of those want to be honest about it, which means they aren't true Floridians. Others, like me, are still waiting. Some, like me, are trying to make some money while we wait, whether it's a new gig (like GrubHub) or getting more hours as the state reopens. The point is that some people were able to get around $900 a week in Florida with almost no questions asked for a very long time (making unemployment more lucrative than employment for some of them). But the rest of us get an email after a month with poor instructions to finish something that might be missing on the worst website ever constructed in the history of mankind on this or any other planet.

The good news is that there are so many people scamming the unemployment system that there's plenty of work for me if I'm OK with venturing out. Someone with RA and on several drugs to suppress his immune system is probably the wrong person to send back out earlier than all the scammers sitting at home cashing their checks and ordering take out online, but that's the world we're in right now. Thanks, Florida politicians and hired consultants.

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