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Thread: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

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    Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Hmm, so this is the efficiency we can expect when the head of government has all that business experience, eh? I guess the business equivalent would be misleading shareholders with creative accounting to make the company's bottom line look better than it is. Not surprising, given that Governor Scott was run out of HCA in the wake of the biggest Medicare fraud scandal in history....

    TALLAHASSEE -- When 65-year-old Raymond Togyer isn’t polishing his resume or cold calling potential employers, he’s spending hours trying, unsuccessfully, to navigate Florida’s labyrinthine unemployment compensation system.
    Togyer — who was laid off for the first time in his adult life from a high-paying civil engineering job in June — has spent the last seven weeks sending and resending letters, staying on hold for hours and checking state websites, all to no avail.

    He is one of hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Floridians flummoxed by what has become the most tightfisted unemployment compensation system in the nation.
    “They told me that I was eligible and that I was going to be getting $275 a week,” said the Togyer, of Fort Lauderdale . “That was seven weeks ago. To this day I have not received anything. I’m draining my savings to pay my bills.”


    Critics say Gov. Rick Scott and Florida’s Legislature are behind a multipronged effort to restrict payments to eligible Floridians. A required 45-question “skills review” and an online-only application system have combined to restrict thousands of applicants from receiving aid. The U.S. Labor Department is investigating the complaints. A spokesman told the Herald/Times that Florida is cooperating with their inquiry, but they would not comment further.

    ...

    Florida’s “recipiency rate” — the proportion of unemployed people who actually receive jobless benefits— is 16 percent, the country’s lowest. Only one in three applicants for unemployment compensation in Florida receives any money, ranking the state dead last among the 50 states.

    “The cumulative impact of these changes is that the process of filing an initial claim for benefits is much more difficult for the average Floridian,” the National Employment Law Project wrote in a recent complaint to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

    ...

    Frustrated applicants complain of misinformation on the state’s website and customer service phone lines that can be tied up for days on end.

    A Herald/Times reporter tried several times over the course of a week to reach the state’s customer service department for jobless claims. Several times an automated message said, “We are currently experiencing high call volumes. An agent is not available at this time,” and then the line went dead.

    On one occasion, the recorded voice said: “There are currently 399 calls in front of you.”

    James Miller, a spokesperson for the Department of Economic Opportunity, said tied-up phone lines are not a problem, and the average hold time is about seven or eight minutes.

    “We have no record of any delays or problems with distributing Reemployment Assistance payments to claimants,” he said. “We also are not aware of any issues with the 800 claim line.”

    Togyer said he has spent nearly two months trying to get someone to tell him what is going on with his application for assistance.

    ...

    Scott regularly touts the drop in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits as evidence that Florida’s economy is improving.

    “The number of people on unemployment has gone from 568,000 to 320,000 people,” he said this month at a gathering of conservatives in Jacksonville.

    What he doesn’t mention is federal data showing that more than 250,000 Floridians have been kicked out of the program during Scott’s tenure, because their benefits ran out.

    Hundreds of thousands of additional applicants have been denied access to benefits, because they did not meet strict new requirements that Scott signed into law.

    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Something about this article screams bull**** to me. First, you are 65 and supposedly a high paid engineer. It is time to retire anyway. Ageism is very real, and you have slim and no chance of getting a high paying professional position right before you retire. Yes, I am not saying he should not try and collect his benefits to make retirement a little easier, but yes he should be prepared for such a thing. I also wonder if his age has something to do with why he is not receiving benefits.

    Now onto why this article seems to be missing some truth. He was "told" he would receive 275 a week. how was he told? Did he get that from some representative on the phone who calculated the rate he might receive when he submitted his application, or like anyone else who receives unemployment benefits did he receive a letter in the mail telling him his case was approved and this is what he will be getting? The rep on the phone does not make a decision on whether or not your receive benefits. It might be a while before you receive benefits if your employer tries to deny them, which is pretty standard for most employers. The article does not even seem to say that you will get your back unemployment in these cases if your application is approved. he may also have to go to a hearing on his eligibility if there is an argument with his employer, and if the state is backed up then this could take a while. Yes, during the time when it is contested you have to live on your savings.

    is it just me, or is 275 a week for a "high paying" position just a bit low? I think someone is exaggerating his position. I got more than that working at a position where I was earning around 0k a year and benefits are based on your reported earnings for the time you paid taxes. I am just thinking a long term employee at a "high paying" position should be getting more than 275 a week.

    Certain things about all of this just don't seem to make sense. The whole story about his case just simply does not seem to be there.

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by tererun View Post
    Something about this article screams bull**** to me. First, you are 65 and supposedly a high paid engineer. It is time to retire anyway. Ageism is very real, and you have slim and no chance of getting a high paying professional position right before you retire. Yes, I am not saying he should not try and collect his benefits to make retirement a little easier, but yes he should be prepared for such a thing. I also wonder if his age has something to do with why he is not receiving benefits.

    Now onto why this article seems to be missing some truth. He was "told" he would receive 275 a week. how was he told? Did he get that from some representative on the phone who calculated the rate he might receive when he submitted his application, or like anyone else who receives unemployment benefits did he receive a letter in the mail telling him his case was approved and this is what he will be getting? The rep on the phone does not make a decision on whether or not your receive benefits. It might be a while before you receive benefits if your employer tries to deny them, which is pretty standard for most employers. The article does not even seem to say that you will get your back unemployment in these cases if your application is approved. he may also have to go to a hearing on his eligibility if there is an argument with his employer, and if the state is backed up then this could take a while. Yes, during the time when it is contested you have to live on your savings.

    is it just me, or is 275 a week for a "high paying" position just a bit low? I think someone is exaggerating his position. I got more than that working at a position where I was earning around 0k a year and benefits are based on your reported earnings for the time you paid taxes. I am just thinking a long term employee at a "high paying" position should be getting more than 275 a week.

    Certain things about all of this just don't seem to make sense. The whole story about his case just simply does not seem to be there.
    If it sounds like BS, call. I bet you get that recording stating hundreds are in front of you.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    My state puts you through plenty of anguish getting unemployment but it does come through eventually.

    I think tererun makes a valid point. He's 65 and living from paycheck to paycheck?

    I've never gotten unemployment in my life. So, it's hard for me to judge this. I agree that at 65, he has no shot at getting another job. He'll be able to get full SS on his next birthday. He's a complete dip**** for having no savings.


    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    If it sounds like BS, call. I bet you get that recording stating hundreds are in front of you.

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by specklebang View Post
    My state puts you through plenty of anguish getting unemployment but it does come through eventually.

    I think tererun makes a valid point. He's 65 and living from paycheck to paycheck?

    I've never gotten unemployment in my life. So, it's hard for me to judge this. I agree that at 65, he has no shot at getting another job. He'll be able to get full SS on his next birthday. He's a complete dip**** for having no savings.
    Unemployment due to a layoff beyond your control should be painless and hassle free. It is sad that you can get welfare after quitting a job faster than unemployment for being laid off in many states. If this man wants to work, 65 or not, and is physically capable employers shouldnt be discriminating.
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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    Unemployment due to a layoff beyond your control should be painless and hassle free. It is sad that you can get welfare after quitting a job faster than unemployment for being laid off in many states. If this man wants to work, 65 or not, and is physically capable employers shouldnt be discriminating.
    Exactly. As the gentleman points out, he has essentially been paying into the unemployment insurance fund for 45 years and now he can't get a measley $275 per week?

    But I guess conservatives want to push people who aren't ready to retire into retirement ... so they can turn around and scream about the shrinking labor force participation rate.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by tererun View Post
    Something about this article screams bull**** to me. First, you are 65 and supposedly a high paid engineer. It is time to retire anyway. Ageism is very real, and you have slim and no chance of getting a high paying professional position right before you retire. Yes, I am not saying he should not try and collect his benefits to make retirement a little easier, but yes he should be prepared for such a thing. I also wonder if his age has something to do with why he is not receiving benefits.

    Now onto why this article seems to be missing some truth. He was "told" he would receive 275 a week. how was he told? Did he get that from some representative on the phone who calculated the rate he might receive when he submitted his application, or like anyone else who receives unemployment benefits did he receive a letter in the mail telling him his case was approved and this is what he will be getting? The rep on the phone does not make a decision on whether or not your receive benefits. It might be a while before you receive benefits if your employer tries to deny them, which is pretty standard for most employers. The article does not even seem to say that you will get your back unemployment in these cases if your application is approved. he may also have to go to a hearing on his eligibility if there is an argument with his employer, and if the state is backed up then this could take a while. Yes, during the time when it is contested you have to live on your savings.

    is it just me, or is 275 a week for a "high paying" position just a bit low? I think someone is exaggerating his position. I got more than that working at a position where I was earning around 0k a year and benefits are based on your reported earnings for the time you paid taxes. I am just thinking a long term employee at a "high paying" position should be getting more than 275 a week.

    Certain things about all of this just don't seem to make sense. The whole story about his case just simply does not seem to be there.
    That's the first thing I thought of when I read the article. He probably doesn't want to collect on his Social Security just yet and figures he can collect on unemployment 'til that runs out and then go for his Social.

    They used a very poor example to make their point. I don't doubt the point, particularly, but I am skeptical of their example.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    That's the first thing I thought of when I read the article. He probably doesn't want to collect on his Social Security just yet and figures he can collect on unemployment 'til that runs out and then go for his Social.

    They used a very poor example to make their point. I don't doubt the point, particularly, but I am skeptical of their example.
    it is not hard for most to get unemployment, but there will be some who have trouble with it. It will take time to deal with when there are sop many unemployed, and there are going to be people who slip through the cracks into complete horror stories. That is just life. i don't doubt that they make it somewhat hard to collect. if you give up then they get the money. it is sort of the same way the insurance company works. They make it a bit hard to get the money, and that causes a certain percentage of people to not collect. Of course, it is your money. Unemployment is not money for nothing, you invested in it by paying taxes to it. unemployment is really insurance like. Lots of people pay in, and those that find themselves in need collect. It really is not saying here is some money for doing nothing, so you should collect. If your house burns down do you say I don't want welfare so i won't claim on the homeowner's insurance i have paid for?

    Anyway, I am rambling off topic now so I will conclude by saying unemployment is like any other government program. you have to jump through the hoops to get it.

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    Unemployment due to a layoff beyond your control should be painless and hassle free.
    You do have to apply and go through a process. There are some restrictions for who can receive it. You have the time to do it also.

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    It is sad that you can get welfare after quitting a job faster than unemployment for being laid off in many states.
    Welfare is a lot different. Your employer can challenge your unemployment claim. They have to be given time to prepare their case for why you are not eligible for it. In the case of welfare they merely have to make sure you meet the requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    If this man wants to work, 65 or not, and is physically capable employers shouldnt be discriminating.
    I don't really consider ageism in a high unemployment economy to be discrimination. You have a lot of options. An older person who will soon retire, who is much more likely to become ill, who is losing mental and physical faculties, and who probably feels they deserve more due to experience is just simply less desireable logically than a younger employee.

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    Re: Getting an unemployment check in Florida is frustrating ordeal for many

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Exactly. As the gentleman points out, he has essentially been paying into the unemployment insurance fund for 45 years and now he can't get a measley $275 per week?

    But I guess conservatives want to push people who aren't ready to retire into retirement ... so they can turn around and scream about the shrinking labor force participation rate.
    It is the idea of insurance. The less you pay out the more money the company makes. This is why you have to apply, and sometimes fight for unemployment.

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