TAMPA, Fla. - As technical woes continue to plague Florida's unemployment website, many residents are turning to an old-fashioned method: printing out a paper application to put in the mail.
With hundreds of thousands of people across the state finding themselves out of work during the coronavirus pandemic, Florida's online unemployment system became quickly overwhelmed. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has taken several steps to fix the problems, but many residents say they still haven't been able to get through.
The governor said FedEx Office is making paper applications available at more than 100 of its locations in Florida.
“I appreciate @FedEx’s willingness to help Floridians in a time of need,” DeSantis tweeted late Monday. “Starting today, over 100 @FedEx storefronts throughout the state are providing free printing and mailing of reemployment assistance applications.”
Paper applications are also being handled at CareerSource Florida locations, and the state Department of Economic Opportunity is working with local governments to expand the use of paper applications.
To get the paper application in English, visit: http://www.floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/reemployment-assistance-center/paper-applications/reemployment-assistance-application-eng.pdf?sfvrsn=9f1d47b0_6.
For the paper application information page, visit: http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/rapaperapplication.
For information about Florida's unemployment program and to apply online, visit: http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/rapaperapplication.
One Florida county decided to go one step further by handing out printed versions in person. Residents in Miami-Dade County waited in long lines outside 26 of the county's libraries on Tuesday to get their hands on physical applications.
WSVN reports the applications can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. They will be available in English, Spanish and Creole.
Those who fill out the application can then drop off the paper inside the library's book drop-off bin.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know
AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com
Map of known COVID-19 cases:
MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.