Unemployment applications now at select FedEx stores

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Problems with online system prompts move to claims by paper

A Miami-Dade County resident holds a paper unemployment form after waiting inside a car in line at Slade Park on April 7 in Hialeah.

DANIEL A. VARELA/MIAMI HERALD/TNS

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

FedEx Corp. is making available paper unemployment compensation applications at about 100 sites in Florida as jobless numbers soar because of the coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he had talked with Fred Smith, president and founder of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx, about using company locations in Florida to provide the applications after people ran into widespread problems with a state unemployment-compensation website.

“Obviously, if the website is functioning, that is going to take off pressure from the paper applications. But, still, we think it is important under these circumstances for people to be able to have that,” DeSantis told reporters.

Offices available for services

DeSantis tweeted later that the company is making its offices available for people filing for state benefits, which total up to $275 a week for 12 weeks. People must also apply through the state to qualify for federal stimulus assistance of $600 a week for 13 weeks.

“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.”

The state has started to allow people filing jobless claims to submit paper applications as a scramble continues to upgrade the overwhelmed online CONNECT unemployment system and to bring on hundreds of people to handle telephone calls about the application process.

Paper applications are also being handled at Career-Source Florida locations, and the state Department of Economic Opportunity is working with local governments to expand the use of paper applications.

“Given this time, not everyone has access to the internet. A lot of the libraries are closed, and it’s not always easy,” DeSantis said Monday.

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