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Florida adds more servers, manpower to process unemployment claims

Governor Ron DeSantis said he was doing what he could during these unprecedented times.
Credit: AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in front of Hard Rock Stadium, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn't want the people on the Holland America's Zandaam where four people died and others are sick to be treated in Florida, saying the state doesn't have the capacity to treat outsiders as the coronavirus outbreak spreads. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In an effort to help with the state's surge of unemployment claims, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he was beefing up call centers and adding more computer servers. 

DeSantis said there are 2,000 state employees from other agencies who are working with the Department of Economic Opportunity to help process unemployment applications that were flowing in during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the month of March, Florida saw unemployment rates skyrocket to 4.3-percent-- and that was before DeSantis ordered a statewide safer at home order. In February, the state's jobless rate was sitting at 2.8 percent. 

As for processing the claims, Desantis said it was "all hands on deck" since these are such unprecedented times. 

DeSantis said a partnership with Federal Express will offer free printing of applications. He said there have already been more than 20,000 paper applications sent in. 

The state offers a maximum weekly benefit of $275 per week for up to 12 weeks.

The $2 trillion "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,'' or "CARES Act," provides an additional $600 each week.

Florida's assistance can come in either a debit card or direct deposit, while DeSantis said the extra $600 from the federal government will come in the mail as a physical check.

Live with the National Guard: Gov. DeSantis is in Fort Lauderdale giving an update on Florida's COVID-19 response

Live with the National Guard: Gov. DeSantis is in Fort Lauderdale giving an update on Florida's COVID-19 response South Florida has been the state's epicenter for coronavirus cases. This is the first time we're hearing from the governor since President Trump unveiled his plan for reopening the country in stages. Here's the latest on COVID-19 in Florida: https://bit.ly/3anCLs4

Posted by 10 Tampa Bay on Friday, April 17, 2020

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