Fluidnow is not so fluid; will the EUC Fix it?

An unemployed construction worker holding a sign that reads "The next pink slip might be yours."

Sobering news (Photo Credit: CC BY/aflcio/Flickr)

Emergency unemployment benefits are a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Americans who are suffering during the current recession and in need of emergency loans. Employers haven’t begun to hire as quickly as the government would have hoped, and hence extension of benefits has become a hot-button political issue. In Florida, the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation has made an earnest attempt to come to the aid of more than 100,000 “long-term” jobless through the website fluidnow (www.fluidnow.com). Those unemployed persons whose claims had expired but were supposedly restarted due to an extension of benefits expected to be able to reinstate their benefits, but fluidnow has turned out to be not so fluid for some.

Fluidnow unable to service customers in a timely manner

According to one of Florida’s long-term unemployed, calling the fluidnow help line at 800-204-2418 results in hours of connection attempts, only to be greeted eventually be a pre-recorded “call back later” message. Eventually the intrepid citizen reached an AWI employee who had no information on whether they’d be eligible to receive an extension of unemployment benefits. The only reassurance Florida residents have received recently on this front came from AWI Director Cynthia Lorenzo, who claims that once the U.S. Department of Labor sent fluidnow guidance, payments would be issued. When that guidance would come – two weeks, as Lorenzo suggested, or some other interminable governmental interval – was uncertain.

The EUC Fix – Hope for the hopeless

Taking a loan from a loan company or signing up for a part-time job are among the only options open to many job seekers. However, these often won’t pay all the bills. Plus, there’s fear that the benefits already being received would shrink upon signing up for part-time work. Enter the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Fix. It was part of the most recent emergency unemployment benefits extension that made it out of Congress, reports Michigan’s MLive.com. The intention behind the provision is to “remove the disincentive for people who take part-time jobs while collecting benefits.” Struggling citizens would not have to fear having their benefits reduced in their second year of benefits, reports the Michigan news portal.

EUC Fix is not retroactive

According to the National Employment Law Project, the EUC Fix is only good for those unemployed citizens with benefit years ending on or after July 22, 2010. Those who don’t fit that window are out of luck, much like scores of Florida unemployed who are waiting on fluidnow or at least some form of instant loan. For more information on the EUC Fix, visit the National Employment Law Project website.




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