Friday, June 19

Florida Unemployment Officially Denied Me Anything, I Guess

florida unemployment denied
I assume this is it. After hours of trying to get my unemployment application submitted (online and through the mail), I have officially been deemed ineligible. I was expecting this, kind of. I understood that I should have received an email or link of some sort in order to at least claim my self-employed federal unemployment. However, I never received an email, link, letter, phone call, or anything. Just a note on my application that says "ineligible." 

I took off one single month, and that's all I asked to receive. I have since talked to all kinds of people who have received their Florida AND national unemployment benefits. One guy, who probably wasn't even an American citizen, said he got a $3,500 check from the fund for not driving Uber-Lyft, even though he had started driving for Amazon. Others have informed me about how they are making more money on unemployment than as an employee. 

The unemployment system should not be giving people more than they were making, and it shouldn't be giving checks to people who have since found other jobs, but it was kind of designed to at least help me out for the month I took off from driving around. Instead, I am stuck with a month of bills and wasted time, all leading to nothing more than an ineligible stamp on my application. 

Whether there's a new wave of Covid-19 or not, I have realized that there's no point for me to try to avoid work/spreading the virus. As an independent contractor, if I can't get anything for staying at home, then I can't very well stay at home (and still afford the home). At this point, I don't care if the Connect website ever gets fixed, and I just hope that those who really need benefits get them, and that those who have taken extended, free vacations with more income than before, at least feel a little guilty. Mostly, I hope the government realizes that the Florida system failed many of us who are ineligible, even though the federal government had said we were eligible this one time. 

Months later, on November 18th, I received an email from the state that began with this: "The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity received an inquiry about your Reemployment Assistance claim. Based on the information you provided in your inquiry, we are looking into your account and working to process your claim as quickly as possible." I have no idea what that means, but as I write this a month later, I still have not received any unemployment compensation for my month of not working. I followed a link to the Connect website, and it was down, as usual. The irony of an unemployment website that never works. 

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