HIALEAH, Fla. – Epidemiologists have warned that many people during the coronavirus pandemic could take lives, but hundreds of people who were desperate were willing to risk their health on Tuesday at Hialeah in hopes of starting the process to apply for unemployment benefits.
A long, tight line winding outside the John F. Kennedy Library before it opened at 11am. They are located at 190 W. 49th St. to take a copy of a blank form to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.
“I have a printer, but I don’t have a cartridge,” one woman, who was queuing up, shouted in Spanish.
Epidemiological strategies to reduce cases of COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus, drive an unemployment crisis that is not prepared by the state government.
Jessica Tellez said she was there to take forms for all members of her family who are now unemployed.
“My father is old. He can’t get out … Everyone here is risking their lives to get this application. It is very difficult to do it online because everyone registers online and the website is breaking down,” Tellez said.
Hialeah Commissioner Carl Zogby said there were many people who came in to queue earlier despite requests from officers for social distance.
“We deliver hundreds and hundreds of applications, but now we print hundreds and hundreds more because we only have more requests,” Zogby said.
Despite Governor Ron DeSantis’s efforts, many unemployed in Miami-Dade County still have problems submitting applications for insurance benefits after losing their jobs through no fault of their own.
Applicants who have access to the Internet are dealing with error messages and hours waiting on the phone when calling an unhelpful help line.
Representative Jose Oliva, Senator Manny Diaz and Representative Bryan Avila was announced The John F. Kennedy Library and three other locations will begin distributing copies of application forms from 11am to 3pm.
Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández said there were people who were queuing as early as 6-7 in the morning. The plan is to organize an organized drive-through distribution, but many people don’t have a car.
“Many people don’t have access to computers … You can see their needs. These are not just people from Hialeah. “There are people here from all over the county … There are people who have lost their jobs for a whole month,” Hernández said.
Mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos A. Giménez announced 26 libraries will distribute forms through the county starting Wednesday.
To help unemployed people who cannot submit their applications online, Florida officials share the application form link in place. Users with access to the Internet can download it Spaniard, Creole and English.
DeSantis said Monday most affected people were blue-collar workers who could not do their jobs at home. The line outside the library is a clear sign that not everyone can afford a computer and printer that works at home.
Ken Lawson, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunities, the state agency that handles unemployment insurance benefits, said in a statement that they were “all in the hands” on Tuesday.
“We will not rest until the problem is resolved,” Lawson said.
Jonathan R. Satter, Secretary of the Florida Management Services Department, said his agency supports the Department of Economic Opportunities. At the end of the week, there will be 82 new servers to increase connectivity.
“We will continue to allocate the technical and personnel resources needed to provide Floridia the level of service they expect and deserve,” Statter said in a statement.
Forms need to be sent to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunities at P.O. Box 5350 in Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350.
Latest updates from state authorities:
Provide Additional Customer Service Support
Last week, DEO had nearly 200 staff working on claims. There are now 579 additional employees and more than 2,300 civil servants.
CARES Act Update
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020, extending benefits. DEO is working to incorporate new provisions from the CARES Act to ensure all eligible Florida residents get the full amount of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Emergency Pandemic Unemployment Assistance when it becomes available. Benefits will be paid from the date they meet the requirements under the CARES Law.
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