Is the state making money from unemployment?

Is the state making money from unemployment?

ORLANDO, Fla. —
The COVID-19 pandemic knocked the tourism industry in Florida off its feet.Millions of people were laid off across the state, and the system meant to help them crashed and burned under the pressure.Since then, the state has paid nearly $27 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 2.3 million Floridians.More than a year later, the meltdown at the Department of Economic Opportunity that delayed benefits is still a continuing nightmare for thousands of people.But, even as jobless people struggle without benefits, the DEO is finding new ways to turn a very healthy profit, WESH 2 News has found. WESH 2’s Greg Fox shows us how the state is benefitting from people who have received little help.
The COVID-19 pandemic knocked the tourism industry in Florida off its feet.

WESH 2 News Investigates: Is the state making money off unemployment?
JIM: THE PANDEMIC KNOCKED CENTRAL FLORIDA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY OFF ITS FEET. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WERE LAID OFF ACROSS THE STATE, AND THE SYSTEM MEANT TO HELP THEM, CRASHED AND BURNED UNDER THE PRESSURE. SINCE THEN THE STATE HAS PAID NEARLY 27 BILLION DOLLARS IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TO MORE THAN 2.3 MILLION FLORIDIANS. MEREDITH: MORE THAN A YEAR LATER, THE MELTDOWN AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THAT DELAYED BENEFITS, IS A CONTINUING NIGHTMARE FOR THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. BUT EVEN AS JOBLESS PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITHOUT BENEFITS, THE DEO IS FINDING NEW WAYS TO TURN A VERY HEALTHY PROFIT. WESH 2 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER GREG FOX SHOWS US HOW THE STATE IS BENEFITING FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED LITTLE HELP. >> I AM ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE AND IF I QUALIFY I FEEL LIKE THEY SHOULD ALLOCATE MONEY. GREG: CATHY PLUCHEL OF WINTER GARDEN PAID A VISIT TO CAREER SOURCE, THE STATE’S RE-EMPLOYMENT OFFICE. THE 62-YEAR-OLD OUT OF WORK DENTAL ASSISTANT IS TRYING TO REINVENT HERSELF, AND IS SEEKING MONEY TO ATTEND TRAINING TO BECOME A CERTIFIED MEDICAL ASSISTANT. GREG: THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY CERTAINLY HAS MORE MONEY TO HELP PEOPLE LIKE KATHY THROUGH THE STATE’S WAY2GO DEBIT CARD. IT’S PROVIDED TO THE UNEMPLOYED WHO DECLINE TO USE DIRECT DEPOSIT AT A BANK TO RECEIVE BENEFITS. IT’S PART OF THE GOPROGRAM WHICH IS RUN BY CONDUENT. ACCORDING TO A CONTRACT OBTAINED BY WESH 2 INVESTIGATES, THE DEO HAS A REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENT WITH CONDUENT. IT RECEIVES 19% OF REVENUES DERIVED FROM MERCHANT INTERCHANGE FEES. IN SHORT, EVERY TIME A WAY2GO DEBIT CARD IS SWIPED AT A STORE, FLORIDA MAKES MORE MONEY. THE RESULT? FLORIDA’S 19% CUT OF THE REVENUE SHARING DEAL GENERATED INCOME THAT, IN FIVE YEARS LEADING UP TO APRIL 2020, AMOUNTED TO $345,000. SINCE THEN? IT’S SKYROCKETED TO $1.6 MILLION DOLLARS IN JUST 10 MONTHS. THE GOALS OF THE CONTRACT ARE TO GENERATE PROGRAM OPERATING INCOME, REDUCE PROGRAM FRAUD AND ABUSE AND ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE. >> IT’S VERY MISERABLE. GREG: REESE CRAYTON, A NURSE’S ASSISTANT, HAS BEEN OUT OF WORK SINCE NOVEMBER AND IS STILL WAITING FOR HER UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TO TAKE CARE OF HER AND HER NINE-YEAR-OLD SON, VINCENT. SHE THINKS THE STATE DEAL TO MAKE MORE WHEN PEOPLE ARE EARNING LESS IS WRONG. >> I FIND THAT VERY DISTURBING. IN MY MIND TO KNOW THAT THE STATE IS BENEFITTING FROM ME AND I HAVE NOT RECEIVED ONE BENEFIT FROM THEM. >> WHAT REALLY KILLS ME ABOUT THIS SCENARIO TOO IS THAT THE UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM IS LIKE CRIMINALLY BROKEN WHILE THE STATE MAKES MONEY OFF PARTS OF IT. GREG: DEMOCRATIC LOCAL LAWMAKER ANNA ESKAMANI WANTS TO KNOW IF THIS EXTRA MONEY IS ACTUALLY BEING USED TO CURB FRAUD, AND IDENTITY THEFT THAT CAN LEAD TO PEOPLE IN LEGITIMATE NEED BEING LOCKED OUT OF THEIR ACCOUNTS. AND CONSIDER INCREASING BENEFITS SO THAT AT THE VERY LEAST PEOPLE OF THE STATE BENEFIT FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM, WHEREAS NOW THEY’RE JUST SCRAPING THE BOT

Updated: 3:36 PM EDT May 14, 2021
Hide Transcript
Show Transcript

But, even as jobless people struggle without benefits, the DEO is finding new ways to turn a very healthy profit, WESH 2 News has found. WESH 2’s Greg Fox shows us how the state is benefitting from people who have received little help. More than a year later, the meltdown at the Department of Economic Opportunity that delayed benefits is still a continuing nightmare for thousands of people.

Since then, the state has paid nearly $27 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 2.3 million Floridians. Millions of people were laid off across the state, and the system meant to help them crashed and burned under the pressure.

The News Highlights

  • Is the state making money from unemployment?
  • Check the latest News news updates and information about business, finance and more.
Disclaimer: If you need to edit or update this news from compsmag then kindly contact us Learn more

For Latest News Follow us on Google News


Latest Headlines
  • Show all
  • Trending News
  • Popular By week
The Dunkirk Foundry Agreement provides a window into GFG's complex financing web

Swiss Bank Black Money held by Indians Ministry of Finance rejects Swiss claim

  Pointing out the biggest increase is in “Other amounts due from customers”, the Finance Ministry said these are in form of bonds, securities and various ...
Pennsylvania Department of Health Releases COVID-19 Report, No New Cases for Erie County

Pennsylvania Department of Health Releases COVID-19 Report, No New Cases for Erie County

Source The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting 177 cases of COVID-19 on Friday with no new deaths. Ashtabula County is reporting 14 new cases of ...
How to secure your hybrid working, tips by Microsoft

For Android, the Microsoft Edge Beta Channel is now available

You can install different Edge Insider channels side-by-side on your Android phone or tablet, just as you would on your desktop. Both the Canary and Dev ...
Younger people think older generations are more financially educated - survey

Younger people think older generations are more financially educated – survey

Baroness Ros Altmann a former pensions minister, said: “Cushon’s research indicates that younger people tend to believe they have been disadvantaged by lack of ...
TSB Bank to Ban Encryption Purchases for Fear of Fraud: Telegraph

TSB Bank to Ban Encryption Purchases for Fear of Fraud: Telegraph

LEARN MORE Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal. Read More: Binance CEO Says Crypto An Opportunity For States, Not Threat TSB will look ...
Samsung New Lineup of Laptops That Sync with Galaxy Smartphones

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is getting an Android 12 (One UI 4.0) upgrade

Matter of fact, the South Korean firm has been sending out the monthly security patches to its smartphones every faster than Google in some cases. Samsung ...
No Chances of Increased Black Money Flow to Swiss Banks: Ministry of Finance

No Chances of Increased Black Money Flow to Swiss Banks: Ministry of Finance

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. * Enter a valid email Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!! The ...
Webster University Receives Federal Grant to Meet Mental Health Needs

Webster University Receives Federal Grant to Meet Mental Health Needs

Much like transportation, language can be a barrier to mental health resources. Diego Abente is the president and CEO of Casa de Salud, another organization ...
Central Bank of Portugal grants licenses for Crypto Exchanges

Central Bank of Portugal grants licenses for Crypto Exchanges

At the end of May, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) awarded a Class 3 Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) License to XCoins, a leading exchange based in ...
Memphis Juneteenth Festival at Health Sciences Park: Federal Holiday

Memphis Juneteenth Festival at Health Sciences Park: Federal Holiday

“We wanted this process to be respectful, to be something that healed divisions,” Turner said during a recent press conference, describing a similarly “full ...
Show next
Compsmag - Latest News from tech, business and health
Logo