Florida Unemployment: The State's Performance in my case

by Elisabeth
(Florida)

Florida Unemployment: The State's Performance in my case.

OK, a story: I started receiving Florida Unemployment Benefits of $149/week on 9/30/09. On 10/23/09 I got a job with a very small number of hours per week, providing income of roughly $50/week. I reported the job and its weekly income on the fluidnow website, as required.

It is 12/29/09 and I have not received any Unemployment since 11/9/09 because they are "investigating" this job.

The given phone # for FL's Unemployment office does NOT work: You cannot even leave a message (1-800-204-2418).

My local Unemployment office knows this, and has installed direct-dial in the office which makes it a bit more likely to get through. So I go there to call this number. Even there, I usually have to try several times, but I eventually get through.

I got through this way on 12/7/09 and 12/16/09, and was told both times to continue attempting to claim my weeks every day. I've done so, and have continued looking for work with more hours, or a second job for more pay.

The claim has NOT been denied, and I've been assured several times that benefits would back-pay when "they" complete "their investigation". I don't know who "they" is, but apparently "they" are not at this phone number.

I have gone from 11/9 to 12/29 with NO benefits at all, due to this "investigation" of a job which I've reported all along. I can't pay my bills this month.

Note: They also don't respond to emails!

So I'll be visiting my local office again today. I can't say I have a lot of hope at this point.


Hi Elisabeth,

Chris here. I have no idea what Florida is trying to do .. some pretty funky tactics if you as me, but just so everyone knows .. they don't seem to take the "average citizen" seriously. I would not continue to wait for them to get a clue .. call the attorney general's office, call the governor's office and call your elected officials. Tell them what the AWI or Sticky fluidnow is doing.

From what you said .. there is absolutely no reason that benefits should have been stopped .. except maybe as a very poor excuse to not pay benefits.

They are not suppose to stop benefits unless they issue a determination in a "timely fashion" so you can appeal it.

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Called Inspector General today
by: Elisabeth

Hi Chris, Thanks so much for your response!

If it weren't for your site, I'd still be flailing around accomplishing NOTHING with this claim. Your site, however, linked me to Florida's Inspector General's office, here:

http://www.floridajobs.org/inspecgen/index.html.

I called them today, and was shocked when an actual person answered the phone! OMG!

She noted all my information, and I could hear her typing as I explained (all the above). She sent a notice to a Manager at AWI, who is obligated (she said) to return my call within 24 hours. No word yet, but...

I ALSO read via YOUR SITE that the Florida Statutes themselves clearly state that if payments are withheld on a claim, the claimant must be notified of such. Since I read that before my Inspector General's call, I stated to them that I've received NO contact regarding my claim at all, from 11/9 to 12/29, just an inability to claim weeks.

If I do not hear from someone within 24 hours, you can bet I'll call again, and probably move it up to my elected representatives as well.

Will be sure to update soon... THANK YOU!


Elisabeth,

I'm actually anxious to find out what happens for you.

I know I'm not much more than a cheerleader, but I have a lot of "team spirit" and I believe that just the act of taking positive action can lift our spirits .. a bit .. for a few moments .. during troubled times we all share.

You would not believe the vicarious thrill I get when anyone let's me know if something worked out for them.

Thank you for sharing:)

Chris

Florida Unemployment Map
by: Peter

Florida unemployment is on the rise, but conditions vary throughout the state according to this heat map:
http://www.localetrends.com/st/fl-florida-unemployment.php?MAP_TYPE=curr_ue


Wow, Peter. How helpful .. considering there is a google ad laid right over the top of the Florida map .. and the trend has little to do with what the state of Florida is doing to people in need of their unemployment benefits no matter where they are located.

I won't make the link live, but if anyone is interested .. they can copy and paste.

Inspector General Worked!
by: Elisabeth

So I called Florida's Inspector General's office again today, when I didn't hear back from anyone at AWI (Agency for Workforce Innovation).

I left a 2nd message, explained how I'd called yesterday and hadn't heard back yet, and they again notified a supervisor at AWI, "upstairs," apparently in the same building (in Tallahassee).

So the AWI Supervisor did call me back this time, and at first she said I hadn't been claiming weeks. I told her I could NOT claim weeks because the computer wouldn't let me.

After much time on hold, she claimed the weeks for me herself!

YES! ALL of the weeks from November through the end of December are now claimed! I should get my direct deposit either tomorrow (Thurs, 12/31) or Monday (possible delay due to holiday).

She even promised to check the system tomorrow to make sure the claimed weeks went through, and call me if there were any further problems.

As for WHY I've been unable to claim weeks all this time... she said she didn't know. It was some kind of computer error.

My next date to claim weeks will be Jan. 11th, she said.

So Folks, take Chris's advice and just CALL FLORIDA'S CAPITOL as many times as it takes, until someone is forced to do something!

THANK YOU SO MUCH CHRIS!

YIPPEE!


:)) Thrilled .. I'm thrilled for you!!

Close to $1000...Thanks to Your Website!
by: Elisabeth

Another follow-up for Chris...

______________________________________

The following is current information for your regular unemployment claim:
Your benefit year began on 09/27/09.  
Your weekly benefit amount is $139.00.  
Your available credits were: $3078.00.

A check in the amount of $824.00, was issued on 12/31/09 for 7 weeks. Checks are mailed one working day after being issued.  

A stimulus check in the amount of $154.00, was issued on 12/31/09 for 7 weeks. Checks are mailed one working day after being issued.
______________________________________________

Thanks to YOU, Chris, Florida's Unemployment System has direct-deposited almost $1000 into our account.

Were it not for YOU and YOUR WEBSITE, I really don't think this would have happened.

Happy New Year to you and your: We have Won This Round!

Thank you SO much, Chris, for your great information & help & cheerleading. Without you, our mortgage would have gone unpaid this month.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

With Sincere Appreciation,

Elisabeth,
in Florida

Wonderful News!!
by: Chris

Elisabeth,

What a way to start the New Year. I am so relieved for you and I think you shine as an example of a person that acted to get the results needed.

I hope the New Year brings better circumstances for everyone.

If anyone out there feels powerless .. don't. Just keep looking for ways to overcome the problems because life moves on whether you overcome your hurdles today, tomorrow, the day after or a year from now.

Chris


Does too! :p
by: Pico

The unemployment number works. You just have to dial it for an hour, go through the menu, wait for them to tell you they're full up, hang up, and then call back like a bajillion times before you get to be put on hold.

It's all part of a conspiracy. Ever notice how the unemployment office is like Disney World? Wait in line, to wait in line, for a two minute ride? Coincidence...? I think not!! Where are you Michael Eisner?! Come out so we unemployed masses can hang you out to dry and expose you for the retard you are! Go apply for the CEO of AIG or something those of us between jobs don't rely on to feed and provide for our families!!

AWI Stressing Us Out More Than what we already are
by: Anonymous

I filed my appeal on 02/05/2010, had my appeal phone call on 03/11/2010. The referee found in my favor and reversed the original decision on 03/15/2010. Still no check and when I call they tell me 21 days from the referees recorded determination date which they have has 03/19/2010 in their system.... so 21 days from that date. This is bull... If I was suppose to pay them them back any money they would want it immediatly.

The State's Performance in my case
by: Anonymous

I appealed my denial of benefits on 02/05/2010, had to wait until 03/11/2010 for the telephone hearing. The decision was reversed in my favor and mailed out on 03/15/2010.. Yet the unemployment office tells me I have to wait 21 days from when they get the determination from the referee which they have as 03/19/2010. Orginally when I file it was for the 3rd tier. But because I worked a temporary job for a few months I have to go through all this and a new benefit year. Why the heck does it take so long to receive your money? If I owed them money back, I am sure they would want it right away. They are causing alot more stress on people that are already stressed out.................


This is what people are complaining about. Call the inspector general's office and complain.

I think I won
by: Anna the Paramedic

I was denied u/e benefits after getting them since Dec. 09 due to the last company not even responding to U/E Florida. When they " redid" my U/E claim becuase the year had " lapsed ", that terraible company responded and said that I had been late to work several times. They mailed in three forms that I had signed, i only signed them to agree that I recieved, not that I agreed. ( i stated this in the argument of the case we had over the phone this morning ) The ref. has made a decision already, which looks good. I represented myself, asked my previous employer questions like, " can you recall the time that i showed up to work the dates you made these employee memos?" they said, " no, i cannot recall." ( WOW, a huge company like that can be THAT stupid??) I said, " did you write times on these forms of repremand?" he replied, " No i dont believe i did." I said, " do you have a time clock at work?" he said, " no." after two write ups addressed to me, he promoted me to a higher position. i asked him, " i was hired as **this position ** correct?" he said , "yes. " i said, " i was terminated as **better position, yes?" he said, " yes" i said, " what date did you change my position title and did you not agree that it would restart my probationary period." he said, " i do not recall what date i changed your job title and i do not recall that conversation." I said, " you changed my job title, gave me a private company vehicle of my own on 10/1, which was after your supposed two times of being late. " I then closed with that I would think the company wouldn't promote someone who was constantly being " late " in thier best interest. I then asked, " the date you terminated me, did you fill out a form on paper as a decision why you terminated me, and did i sign anything between you and I in agreeance to this?" he said, " no. " I closed with that. I HOPE I won. I am about to lose my place of residence,... this company wasnt even in my base period, they wouldn't be responsible for my benefits anyway. I don't find out until tommorow, as they won't release the refs. decision, the web site apparently updates at midnight ( but since we all know Florida U/E is a bunch of liars, i'll be checking it all day. ) I called the office of the ref, and they told me the case was closed and a decision was mailed and I could call back tommorow to hear the decision. I am praying that they give me favor, as this employer treated me terriable, and has no time clock or documentation of a termination. All im going to say is, I'm praying for all of you that are with me suffering. I know that a lot of you have been without for longer than I, so I can't even imagine.I always remember, God doesn't tease us. will update. disgruntled medic in FL

Fla Unemployment: Assistance for Legal Action!
by: Anonymous

I have a very similar story and cannot reach Florida's Unemployment office on line AND via phone, so thank you for mentioning its ok to contact the Attorney General and elected officials. I will do ASAP!
Quick question for anyone that can help...I was "terminated" by a not for profit without given ANY warning, write ups, etc and 2 weeks later the rest of my department was laid off with severence, none of which I got and figured it was a cheap and selfish way to let me go since I had only been there for 7 months. My unemployment was taken away 2 months later (which I still cannot contact anyone at the Department) but is this even possible and is it legal for a company to 1. terminate with no reason, 2. give severence to some and not others, 3. not only verify employment and salary to a future employer BUT to say that I was terminted for unsatisfactory performance when not only did that not happen but didnt think they were in the position to say that and 4. What Legal action can be taken, if any, against this company???? I have not been able to secure employment since being unlawfully "terminated" in May because I have this on my professional background AND can action be taken to get lost wages from unemplyment through all of this???
Just like people have mentioned here, I have no healthcare, cannot pay bills let alone struggle for groceries and I do not feel I was treated unfairly. I would like to take legal action but not sure how to proceed....any information at all is extremely appreciated. I hope we can stop employers from doing this to employees in the future and getting others involved to see how the Fla Unemployment Dept is not doing it's job to support those of us that are currently unemployed....hopefully little by little we can help each other and those that may be affected by this horrible situation in the future.
Thank you
Sincerely,
Victoria




Victoria,

The Q&A's about unemployment benefits and in your case, this article about at will employment might help you figure out what you can do about being denied unemployment and if there is anything you can do about it.

How to get through to Florida Unemployment 800-204-2418
by: Stacy

The way to get through is to not call that number. Call the governors office at 850-488-7146. A human answers the phone and when you complain that the number doesn't work, they directly transfer you to a human at unemployment! This actually works great. Call away my friends. Maybe if everyone calls the governors office all day, they will get the system fixed. I tried to get through for 2 weeks.

Florida's AWI is broken!
by: Anonymous

I just joined the ranks of the unemployed in Florida on July 01, 2011, got the eligibility determination, and I've received just 3 weeks payment in two months. So this is where homeless people come from, huh? The State of Florida mis-management of federal dollars that are supposed to help the unemployed temporarily? I've been reading how this has been going on for YEARS, and only getting worse?

8 weeks no payment ??
by: Anonymous

8 weeks ago i randomly stopped receiving payments and i still have a balance. I have claimed all my weeks. I have spent hours every day on the phone calling the unemployment office for the phone system to say "sorry we are experiencing high call volume, please try your call again later". I have called the governor's office, I have called the attorney general. The few times I did get to speak to an agent they said that my claim was in the adjudicators office because my social security number popped up that I was "working"? or receiving money from employment. WHAT?

I am still trying to contact them. My cell phone is shut off and my electric is due to be shut off. I have children. There is not a market for my skill level where I am located (I'm in the forest), so finding a job that I am no over qualified for is rough. I thought my education would get me a better job, I thought wrong.

This is so aggravating. I received no notice to why any payments were stopped. I am not working.

Can anyone else suggest something?




Hi,

I can't suggest a surefire way, but I know that if it were me .. and I was already calling the governor's and the AG's offices .. I'd be raising a ruckus about the fact that a determination stopping or suspending benefits pending and investigation hadn't been issued yet after 2 months.

That .. I'm quite sure is not in compliance with federal guidelines and although I don't know who else to complain to .. I do know that it is the AG's office responsibility to make sure all state agencies operating under some federal guidelines or another stay in compliance.

I'd wouldn't get angry .. I'd just try to throw this little bit of knowledge their way as an implied threat that you know they are breaking a rule.

Chris


Trying to get unemployment for a month
by: Anonymous

Part of my story--

Florida State Unemployment Rep Call--
Phone Conversation: September 27, 2011, 4:30 PM, Name of caller-possibly Evelyn

Person who called from 954-625-3009 claimed she was from Florida State Unemployment.

She was not nice. She was rude and arrogant. She was very smart-alecky, and pushed my buttons.

She concluded without speaking to me, but at me that I had not read the unemployment screens when I signed up for unemployment. She stated, ?This is the only reason I was having a hard time filing a claim.? She also said that I should not be calling in to confirm what is now in the system.

However, the person at the local office said to keep calling-be persistent is the wording he used or you will never get paid.

To me it sounded like she, the rep, was a case worker who had been told to check up on me because I had not filed a claim, but had signed up for unemployment.

It was like she was reading some type of script, and got mad at me if I tried to talk.

Sometimes I think these employees of the state are hidden behind the telephone lines, and because of this they fill protected and can be sassy with the person they are on the phone with?the person that they should be helping.

So at this point, I am still not completely signed up correctly, but I wish everyone else good luck on using the system?more importantly though good luck with the system, so you can turn your time into looking for your next job and not on the phone.

On a final note, regardless what this rep said I will call because of a prior conversation with a different rep. The other rep said if my claim benefits date is not posted with an October 3, 2011 date--the date I suppose to enter my work info, then the system will not allow me to post anything, and I should call. The other rep said that the staff who do the confirmations are backed up, and I would have to call. If this is the case I will also contact Governor Rick Scott's office to give his staff a heads up that the system isn't working.

the truth about UE
by: Anonymous

At the UE office there is about 20 to 30 people.
Just siting on their butts...
when they get ready they will answer the phone...there is no call back up or to many calls. if these people would do their jobs you would get an answer...
at one of the Fla job offices i watch 10 people not doing nothing but pretending to do something on their computer...
When they called me back the guy that was interviewing me stopped to answer his cell phone and talked to i guess his wife for almost an hour...
then he took my info and said he didn't have no work...
yet when i got home and looked on the site their was 10 jobs i have experience for...
yet they want talk to you or call you unless you go thru the UE people...
This is typical of all UE offices..I know for sure Fla and Ala...
My Ue ran out in Al and was told to go thru Fla..
so now i have to start a new claim with Fla and another waiting week...
and Fla pays every 2 weeks...
this is a joke...FIRE your congressman and lets see him live off UE...

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