LARGO, Fla. — A Largo man said he received both his state and federal unemployment payments like clockwork for five weeks straight before the federal money suddenly stopped arriving two weeks ago.
What You Need To Know
- DEO says federal payments typically biweekly, were made weekly for short period
- Transition from weekly to biweekly occurred at end of May
- Claimants were not informed of the change
- Guide for Reemployment Assistance Claiming Weeks
"I know several people in the same boat and we're all wondering 'what in the world is going on?'" said Bill Silcox, 70. "We have no way to find out."
Silcox said his state unemployment payment is $135 and his federal payment is $600. Turns out many other unemployed Floridians also noticed the federal portion of their payments have been missing recently.
It's a hot topic of discussion on the Facebook page "Action Group For COVID-19 Unemployment."
Allison Cutter posted, "No $600 so far for two and a half weeks... I'm getting real nervous. There isn't anything pending on my account - why the delay?"
The founder of that Facebook group, Kelly Johnson from Dunedin, asked Pinellas CareerSource about it during a Zoom meeting on Thursday held by State Representative Jennifer Webb.
"Originally, we thought last week if we were missing our federal payments they were going on a bi-weekly pay schedule and then they would be this week, but people still haven't gotten paid," said Johnson. "Have you heard at CareerSource anything about what's going on with that, or is there any way we can track federal?"
"I don't know the answer to that question.," said Jennifer Brackney with Pinellas CareerSource. "It's one that I could present at our meeting."
The Department of Economic Opportunity told us unemployment payments are typically paid biweekly but because of the pandemic those payments were made weekly for awhile.
"In an effort to get Floridians paid as quickly as possible, DEO has pushed out payment as quickly as possible and many claimants have received benefit payments weekly and at different times," stated spokesperson Paige Landrum. "Moving forward and in an effort to streamline payments for Floridians, DEO is transitioning benefit payments back to a biweekly schedule."
Apparently, that transition happened at the end of May. Silcox said the DEO should've alerted claimants and pointed out that it has been a little more than two weeks and his federal payment still hasn't arrived.
"They never notified anybody that they were doing anything," he said. "They just did it."
The DEO said it's important for claimants to log into their CONNECT account to claim their weeks. Benefits are paid after weeks are claimed.
Claimants will begin to notice that benefits will be scheduled biweekly as weeks are claimed for benefit payments.
"Please remind viewers to check if they have claimed their weeks and if they have selected a return to work date," said Landrum. "If an individual has selected a return to work date they will not receive benefit payments after that date."
Sign up now for one of our newsletters that will show up in your inbox every weekday at 1 p.m. The newsletters highlight the most important stories of the day that you need to know for your area.