CAPE CORAL, Fla -- When it comes to rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, many say they are still waiting on unemployment benefits they are owed. The latest common theme seems to be retroactive pay.
Fox 4’s Jessica Alpern has followed up with the Department of Economic Opportunity on hundreds of claimants’ concerns.
There’s been a common theme among claimants who had applied in March or April, who finally received benefits they were owed once she got involved.
“In all honesty, until I contacted you, I didn't make a lot of progress,” Dean Gerber of Bonita Springs told Alpern.
“I did eventually, like last Friday, get my first round. I got $125 and a $600 deposit on the same day,” he added.
But for claimants like Gerber, that first round of $125 was for a week in May. His question, like many others who have emailed Alpern, is where is the retroactive pay dating back as early as March?
You may recall back in May, the DEO confirmed it launched a web page that makes sure Floridians who applied for unemployment are paid retroactively to when they lost their jobs, not just to when they were able to apply.
The DEO referenced that website when Alpern inquired about this common issue people are experiencing.
It said claimants should be sure to modify their filing effective date for Reemployment Assistance. For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, no action is needed. It said claims will automatically become retroactive in CONNECT.
However, some Southwest Florida claimants have forwarded Alpern confirmation emails from completing that step, and say they're still waiting on the payments. Including one claimant who completed that step nearly a month ago, in mid-May.
Fox 4 has circled back with the DEO to ask why claimants who've done so weeks ago are still waiting on retro pay. The DEO has yet to respond to that question.